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Published On: 28 Jun 2012 | Last Updated On: 01 Aug 2013

Astronomy, in simple terms, is the study of heavenly bodies and their motions, forms, dimensions, masses, the effects they produce upon one another, their physical conditions and probably their history and future developments. Though it is one of the oldest branches of science, the arrival of sophisticated technological equipments has adorned this field, intriguing the current crop of students to pursue this field. This branch is further divided into Astrophysics, Astrometeorology, Astrobiology, Astrogeology, Astrometry, Cosmology etc.

Courses & Eligibility:

A student can opt for any of the following courses:

  • M.Sc. Astronomy.
  • M.Sc. Astrophysics.
  • M.Sc. Meteorology.
  • Ph.D. Astronomy.
  • Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Ph.D. Astrophysics.
  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Science and Astrophysics.

Students willing to pursue a career in Astronomy have to pass their 10+2 exams in science stream with Maths and Physics as their core subjects . After completing graduation you can take up a Master’s degree in Physics and Astronomy. Thereafter, you can even opt for a specialization in astronomy i.e PhD which enables you to become an astronomer/astronaut/astrophysicist/scientist or a research officer. For pursuing a Ph.D one should appear for the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) examination. A BE or B.Tech student can also enter this field.

Career prospects:

A beginner could be employed as a junior researcher in any existing Astronomy project.. An Astronomer usually works for the government, defense and space research organizations, electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers etc. Degree/ Diploma/ Doctorate holder in these disciplines can find job opportunities in stellar establishments like the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Space Physics Laboratories, Space Applications Centers, etc. Candidates with a Master’s degree or a PhD can join and do research in any one of the following renowned institutes:

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
  • Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.
  • National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, (Pune).
  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore.
  • Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore.
  • Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIOS), Nainital.
  • Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmadabad.
  • Space Science Centre, ISRO, Thiruvanthapuram.

The prospects of traveling abroad are wide open as international seminars and conventions are held quite regularly in different countries


Initially, freshers can earn a salary of Rs. 10000-12000 per month. Government bodies and research institutes employ astronomers with high salary package and other allowances. Many globally reputed institutions like NASA offer high package for talented students.

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