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Encyclopedia > Astronomer
Galileo is often referred to as the Father of Modern Astronomy.
Galileo is often referred to as the Father of Modern Astronomy.

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 letter 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 6500 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 10,000 members from 87 different countries who are involved in astronomical research at the PhD level and beyond. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Galileo. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Galileo. ... Galileo can refer to: Galileo Galilei, astronomer, philosopher, and physicist (1564 - 1642) the Galileo spacecraft, a NASA space probe that visited Jupiter and its moons the Galileo positioning system Life of Galileo, a play by Bertolt Brecht Galileo (1975) - screen adaptation of the play Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Spiral Galaxy ESO 269-57 Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties (luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition) of celestial objects such as stars, galaxies, and the interstellar medium, as well as their interactions. ... The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is a US society of professional astronomers and other interested individuals, headquartered in Washington, DC. The main aim of the AAS is provide a political voice for its members and organise their lobbying. ... IAU redirects here. ...


While the number of professional astronomers world-wide 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. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) was founded in San Francisco in 1889. ...


Modern astronomers

Contrary to the classical image of an old astronomer peering through a telescope through the dark hours of the night, it is very rare for a modern professional astronomer to use an eyepiece on a larger telescope. It is far more common to use a charge-coupled device camera to record a long, deep exposure, allowing a more sensitive image to be created because the light is added over time. Before CCDs, photographic plates were a common method of observation. Modern astronomers spend relatively little time at telescopes - most spend a few weeks per year observing, and the rest of their time reducing the data (changing it from raw data to processed images) and analyzing it. Many astronomers work entirely from astronomical survey or space observatory data. Others work with radio telescopes like the Very Large Array, which is entirely automated, although it is maintained by telescope operators. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ... Astronomical surveys generally involving imaging or mapping of regions of the sky using Telescopes. ... Space telescopes A space observatory is any instrument in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. ... In contrast to an ordinary telescope, which produces visible light images, a radio telescope sees radio waves emitted by radio sources, typically by means of a large parabolic (dish) antenna, or arrays of them. ... The Very Large Array (VLA) is a radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Augustin, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil, some fifty miles (80 km) west of Socorro, New Mexico, USA. U.S. Route 60 passes through the complex. ...


Astronomers are generally funded by research grants from national governments (e.g., the National Science Foundation and NASA in the US) and their home institutions, for those who work at universities. Astronomers who serve as faculty spend much of their time teaching undergraduate and graduate classes. Most universities also have outreach programs including public telescope time and sometimes planetariums as a public service and to encourage interest in the field. The logo of the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. ... For other uses, see NASA (disambiguation). ... For the song by Ai Otsuka, see Planetarium (song) // A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation. ...


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See also

Famous astronomers and astrophysicists include: Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [edit] A Marc Aaronson (USA, 1950 – 1987) George Ogden Abell (USA, 1927 – 1983) Antonio Abetti...

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D'ARREST, H.L. Heinrich Louis d'Arrest (1822-1875) was a Danish astronomer and the co-discoverer of Neptune (in 1846), with Galle.
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Astronomers collect and analyze this data and work with astrophysicists and mathematicians to find better ways of describing the interaction between various bodies of stellar matter and energy.
For those astronomers who wish to rise in the profession, publishing academic articles is important; being assigned to government research panels is another significant achievement.
Astronomers who leave go into a variety of professions where their science training can be put to use.
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