Astronomers use the principles of physics and mathematics to learn about the universe and its components, including the sun, moon, planets, stars and galaxies. They also apply their knowledge to solve problems in navigation, space flight and satellite communications.
It’s a fascinating field, and one that highly in demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of physicists and astronomers will grow 16 percent during this decade, faster than the average for all occupations.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the America COMPETES Act, passed by Congress in 2007, which sets a goal to double funding for the physical sciences through the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Recent budgets for these agencies have seen large increases, and if this trend continues, it will result in more opportunities in basic research for physicists and astronomers.