Related topics: galaxies · stars · black holes · milky way · nasa

Open cluster NGC 2345 investigated in detail

European astronomers have performed a comprehensive study of the young open cluster NGC 2345. The new research resulted in determining fundamental parameters of dozens of stars in the cluster and also unveiled the presence ...

Stony-iron meteor caused August impact flash at Jupiter

Analysis of a bright flash in Jupiter's atmosphere observed by an amateur astronomer in August 2019 has revealed that the likely cause was a small asteroid with a density typical of stony-iron meteors. The impact is estimated ...

Nanoantennas help detectors see more heat, less noise

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed tiny, gold antennas to help cameras and sensors that "see" heat deliver clearer pictures of thermal infrared radiation for everything from stars and galaxies to people, ...

VISTA unveils a new image of the Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud, or LMC, is one of our nearest galactic neighbors, at only 163,000 light years from Earth. With its sibling the Small Magellanic Cloud, these are among the nearest dwarf satellite galaxies to the ...

New extremely X-ray-weak blazar discovered

Astronomers from Italy and Spain have detected a new blazar by analyzing data from two astronomical surveys. The newly found object, designated DESJ014132.4-542749.9, turns out to be an extremely X-ray-weak blazar at high ...

Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics

The cosmological constant, introduced a century ago by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity, is a thorn in the side of physicists. The difference between the theoretical prediction of this parameter and its ...

'Green peas' provide clues to the early days of the universe

It is probable that primordial galaxies triggered the period in the history of the universe known as "cosmic reionization." The Geneva-based astronomer Anne Verhamme has succeeded in demonstrating this by studying green pea ...

Eight new repeating fast radio bursts detected

Using the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope, astronomers have identified eight new repeating fast radio burst (FRB) sources. The finding, reported in a paper published August 9 on arXiv.org, ...

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Astronomer

An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars, and galaxies.

Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using physical laws. Today, that distinction has mostly disappeared. Professional astronomers are highly educated individuals who typically have a PhD in physics or astronomy and are employed by research institutions or universities. They spend the majority of their time working on research, although they quite often have other duties such as teaching, building instruments, or aiding in the operation of an observatory. The number of professional astronomers in the United States is actually quite small. The American Astronomical Society, which is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America, has approximately 7,000 members. This number includes scientists from other fields such as physics, geology, and engineering, whose research interests are closely related to astronomy. The International Astronomical Union comprises almost 9,500 members from 87 different countries who are involved in astronomical research at the PhD level and beyond.

While the number of professional astronomers worldwide is not much larger than the population of a small town, there is a huge community of amateur astronomers. Most cities have amateur astronomy clubs that meet on a regular basis and often host star parties in their communities. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is the largest general astronomical society in the world, comprising both professional and amateur astronomers as well as educators from 70 different nations. Like any hobby, most people who think of themselves as amateur astronomers may devote a few hours a month to stargazing and reading the latest developments in research. However, amateurs span the range from so-called "armchair astronomers" to the very ambitious, who own science-grade telescopes and instruments with which they are able to make their own discoveries and assist professional astronomers in research.

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