Asked by Gary Ray
Most current professional astronomers work in research departments in universities and private business. The best path to professional astronomy is to undertake a scientific education, specifically in physics or astrophysics, which will need to be taken to at least degree level or further to postgraduate level to secure a research assistant position.
As developments in the field have been made, less professional astronomy involves the need to put eye to telescope. Many telescopes and observatories are now robotic and a large contingent are space-based so an astronomer’s job is much more about the analysis of the data collected. That being said, many astronomers still do the observing themselves in some cases and even engage in casual observing as a hobby.
Answered by Josh Barker at the National Space Centre
Image courtesy of ESO
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