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What is the study of Astrophysics?

Astrophysics / November 12, 2018

Those who are fascinated by planets, stars and galaxies might consider studying astrophysics. Scientists in this field focus on how these celestial bodies came to be, as well as what to expect of their interactions in the future. Read on to explore the academic and career options available.

Astrophysicists study interactions between planets, moons, asteroids, comets, stars and galaxies. These scientists may examine the physical characteristics of celestial objects, like the luminosity of a star or the chemical composition of a planet. Most aspiring astrophysicists need to earn a master's or doctoral degree. The following Study.com articles explain in greater deal how to pursue advanced training in astrophysics, as well as the kinds of career options you can expect for this field of study.

Education Information

Degree programs in this field are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level. In some cases, astrophysics may be a specialization within a physics program. Bachelor's degree programs in astrophysics introduce students to basic concepts of physics, cosmology and astronomy. Astrophysics graduate programs focus extensively on the study of particle physics, general relativity and astronomical observation techniques. Additionally, most astrophysics programs include significant research and lab components.

Bachelor's and master's programs in this field may prepare candidates for entry-level positions in government-funded labs or private companies. Graduates of doctoral programs are qualified for research and teaching jobs at the university level. Learn more about degree options in astrophysics by reading over these articles.

Distance Learning Options

Astrophysics programs often require significant in-person attendance, but there some online programs that offer basic training in astronomy and physics. A few courses are even free; take a look at these links to learn more.

Career Options

Knowledge of astrophysics can lead to a variety of careers, a few of which are explored in the links below.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed physicists and astronomers was expected to increase by ten percent from 2012-2022, which is about average. As of May 2013, astronomers earned a mean annual salary of $110, 440; physicists made an average wage of $117, 040. Most astronomers and physicists worked for research and development firms, universities and government agencies during this time.

Source: study.com