What does it take to move ahead in a career in Observational Astrophysics?
Clearly, an interest in answering some of the biggest questions in the Universe is important! Usually, the mark of a good astronomer, or indeed any scientist, is being able to ask the right questions, rather than knowing all the answers. Beyond that, today’s astronomers are experts in digital data analysis, and especially image analysis, and bring together skills in mathematics, physics and computer science. As astronomers progress up the career ladder, they have the opportunity to lead research groups and teach undergraduate and graduate students, so having an enthusiasm to lead the next generation of researchers is also key to progressing.
How do you see the career scope of Astronomy in developing countries?
Developing countries are investing more and more in astronomy and related sciences. India, for example, is home to one of the most sensitive radio telescopes in the world, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), while Thailand is investing heavily in optical astronomy. The development of such infrastructure requires advanced engineering skills, but also astronomers to guide the design to ensure maximal scientific output. Also, universities in developing countries are increasingly realising that there is a huge untapped interest in learning astronomy among the younger generation, and therefore require qualified astronomers to teach these courses. What is the scope of Astrophysics in private sector?
Most astronomy research is publicly funded, either via Universities or national research institutes. However, the skills that astronomers possess are highly sought-after by the private sector. After graduating, many astronomers move into careers as data scientists and data analysts as they have experience in dealing with large amounts of digital data and extracting important information from these datasets.
Can we discuss real-life applications of Astronomy