Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

We've detected you're


an "AdBlocker".
Any visitor supports
our site
bySEARCH
just

LOG INusing
OR SIGN
UP
FORUMS
INSIGHTS
viewing ads. If you enjoy Physics Forums please consider either white-listing us or

Login or Sign up!

simply register, it takes 10 seconds and browsing will be ad free.

Forums Science Education Academic Guidance

Visit PF Insights Daily fascinating physics articles. Over 130 currently!

Steps needed to become an Astronomer and/or Cosmologist?


DominoK

#1

Apr 17, 2015

Hello friends!

I have a dream to become a legitimate astronomer and cosmologist like


Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. But I would appreciate the realistic
steps in order to achieve this dream.
Do I really need to become a teacher first or really need my PhD in
Astronomy before I can really do anything like them?
What are the roads they have taken to get where they did? Thank you!!!

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories on Phys.org


Researchers make thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand
More efficient way of converting ethanol to a better alternative fuel
Hubble and Spitzer telescopes see magnified image of the faintest galaxy from the
early universe

Cygnus_A

#2

Apr 17, 2015

Welcome to the forum! :)

34

To be like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, follow your interests as
closely as possible and stay diligent. Generally, if you're interested in
cosmology and astronomy, you would do the following:
B.S. in Astrophysics, Astronomy or Physics -> Masters/PhD in Astrophysics

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

1/6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

or Astronomy
Make sure to take as many classes in math/programming/physics outside
of your astronomy requirements as you can. Make sure to get involved in
as much research as possible (though only one at a time) during your
undergrad. That is the most important. Doing well in your classes and
memorizing physics formulas and problem solutions is important for the
Physics GRE (and thus grad school admission).
Here are some things you can do right NOW:
- learn how to use a telescope and research/find stars and objects in the
night sky. star charts and the internet are helpful for this.
- look for opportunities, educational programs, stargazing nights, etc to
learn about astronomy and the technology involved
- find an intro math/physics book at whatever your current level is, and do
the problems. solving problems is one of the most productive things you
can do to prepare yourself for cosmology research
- start learning how to program (python is a good place to start)
Remember to stay focused and dedicate 1-2 hours minimum per day to
any one chosen task.

DominoK

#3

Apr 17, 2015

Cygnus_A said:

Welcome to the forum! :)


6

To be like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, follow your interests as closely as
possible and stay diligent. Generally, if you're interested in cosmology and
astronomy, you would do the following:
B.S. in Astrophysics, Astronomy or Physics -> Masters/PhD in Astrophysics or
Astronomy
Make sure to take as many classes in math/programming/physics outside of your
astronomy requirements as you can. Make sure to get involved in as much
research as possible (though only one at a time) during your undergrad. That is
the most important. Doing well in your classes and memorizing physics formulas
and problem solutions is important for the Physics GRE (and thus grad school
admission).
Here are some things you can do right NOW:
- learn how to use a telescope and research/find stars and objects in the night
sky. star charts and the internet are helpful for this.
- look for opportunities, educational programs, stargazing nights, etc to learn
about astronomy and the technology involved

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

2/6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

- find an intro math/physics book at whatever your current level is, and do the
problems. solving problems is one of the most productive things you can do to
prepare yourself for cosmology research
- start learning how to program (python is a good place to start)
Remember to stay focused and dedicate 1-2 hours minimum per day to any one
chosen task.

Wow! Thank you so much for your great reply. May I ask why programming
is recommended? I never heard of Python. Is it one of those languages
that will go away soon where all my work learning it will be for nothing?
Any more information and advice is greatly appreciated!!! :)

Cygnus_A

34

#4

Apr 17, 2015

Astronomers use programing languages like IDL to read and analyze CCD
images. Many cosmologists use programming in python and C++ to do
physics simulations. They do things like calculating trajectories and orbits
of celestial bodies, simulating fluids and gases around blackholes or stars,
or figuring out what elements are left over after the big bang.
Python is simpler than most languages, which makes writing programs a
lot faster. Traditionally you are introduced to programming with C, which
is very tedious, but sometimes necessary. Python is also versatile and very
well documented online.
Here's a good website to start learning.
http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/python
In my opinion, solving physics problems with pen and paper, at first, is
more fun. But so is programming to a certain extent.

jtbell

#5

Apr 17, 2015

DominoK said:

I never heard of Python. Is it one of those languages that will go away soon where
all my work learning it will be for nothing?
13,527

Staff: Mentor

When you are in your 30s you will probably be programming in something
that hasn't even been invented yet.
That's the way things go in the
programming world. Something new is always coming along. However, the
general programming concepts that you learn along with the specific

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

3/6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

details of a particular language will still be valid, no matter what language


you use. I don't consider it a waste of time to have started out in Fortran
30+ years ago, even though most of the programming I've done in the last
15 years has been in either Perl or C++.

Laura Forczyk

11

#6

Apr 19, 2015

If I can add a different take... Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson are more
entertainers/educators/communicators than physicists. They are excellent
orators. If you wish to emulate them, work on your communication skills,
particularly oral communication (presentations, videos, even science
journalism). It's my understanding that neither one of them are brilliant
scientists, but they are brilliant communicators who are able to reach out
to and touch the general public. I would even say that a doctorate isn't
necessary, though it would help for credibility/marketing purposes.
If you wish to be an astronomer or cosmologist, that's an entirely different
question.

QuantumCurt

720
Education Advisor

#7

Apr 19, 2015

It's important to bear in mind that Carl Sagan and Neil Tyson serve(d) roles
as science popularizers. They were often presenting material that they
were not involved in researching at all. They devoted their careers to
educating the public to science, which means less time to actually spend
researching. Communicating science to the public is a very important job,
and they both excel at it. However, a lot of what they do is more along the
lines of communication and writing than it is scientific research.
Neil Tyson has never contributed anything significant to the body of
knowledge of physics or astronomy as far as I know, but he has done a lot
in communicating the work that others have done in a way that the public
responds well to. Sagan was involved in more of an active research role
than Tyson, but his own contributions to the field were fairly limited as
well.
e.bar.goum and Niflheim like this.

Niflheim

#8

Apr 19, 2015

I'm with QuantumCurt, very few of the people you hear about are really
doing significant research. They serve as publicizers (pretty sure that isn't
a word) and little more.
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

4/6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

146

Arsenic&Lace

#9

Apr 20, 2015

You should also have a gander at the vast world of physics outside
astronomy/cosmology before you head down that route, since there are
many interesting things out there.
536

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or
Facebook

Have something to add?

Write your reply...

LATEX

POST REPLY

WHITEBOARD

Similar discussions for: Steps needed to become an Astronomer and/or Cosmologist?

Cosmologist or astrophysisist
What is a cosmologist?
Beginner astronomer - need help getting started
Need Interest in Technology to Become Computer Programmer?
Questions About Becoming an Astrophysicist or Astronomer
Forums Science Education Academic Guidance
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

5/6

05/12/2015

StepsneededtobecomeanAstronomerand/orCosmologist?

CONTACT US

HELP

2001-2015 Physics Forums

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/stepsneededtobecomeanastronomerandorcosmologist.809090/

Terms and Rules Privacy Policy

6/6