Astronomy & Astrophysics

Career Objectives

-Studying the cosmos to unveil the secrets of the universe.

Professional Profile

Scientific professional qualified to study the universe. This means, try to understand how stars and galaxies evolve, among other phenomena.

An astronomer is devoted to *investigate the universe by measuring the light coming from celestial objects through telescopes and other instruments, questioning himself through this information about the behavior of stars and comets.

For instance, photos of distant galaxies are obtained and *analyzed according to their brightness, form, distance and type.

With these factors, a table can be set in order to determine the age of the different galaxies which shape the universe.

There are many physical processes involved to understand what happens in space, and indeed, it is necessary to have a solid Physical and Mathematical base to understand astronomical events.

The feedback of astronomers also works for practical implementations in space exploration, orientation during maritime and aerial navigation, the confection of calendars and the accurate measurement of time.

Specific tasks or activities carried out in the profession

He observes, *analyzes and *interprets firmament’s phenomena.

He studies galaxies, star systems, the sun and the rest of stars, the planets and their satellites, as well as other celestial bodies, using optical telescopes and radio telescopes equipped with photographic cameras.

He uses special instruments to determine the bodies’ characteristics such as their size, mass, shape, composition, structure, temperature, brightness and movement.

He performs research and improves or develops ideas, judgments, *concepts, *theories and *methods of astronomy.

He evaluates the results of research and formulates conclusions mainly drawing on techniques and *mathematical models.

He studies his practical implementations in different areas, such as maritime navigation and space exploration.

He devises methods and techniques applicable in areas such as aerial and maritime navigation or space exploration.

He studies the relative positions and calculates the orbits of the observed celestial bodies and prepares – for the use of ships and aircraft pilots- mathematical tables which indicate positions in determined periods of time, of the sun, the moon, the planets and stars in terms of the Earth.

He performs maintenance of equipment in observatories, interprets *software data and telescope handling.

They perform scientific reports and present them to international organizations.

Occupational Field

-Teaching and Research areas in Universities.

-Research in international astronomical observatories

-Air navigation institutions

-Maritime organizations


Estimated time of College years:

9 semesters

Main courses considered in the syllabus.

-Career of solid and deep mathematical, physical and astronomical foundation.

Secondary Education Courses which are projected in the career.

-Mathematics and Physics.

General Training Courses

Philosophical Anthropology

Introduction to Programming

Basic Training Courses

*Mathematics (6 levels) (Geometry, Linear algebra, Calculus, Differential Equations).

History of Astronomy

*Classical Mechanics (2 levels)

*Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory

Electricity and Magnetism

*Mathematical Physics Methods (2 levels)

Waves and Optics

*Modern Physics

Electromagnetic Theory

*Quantum Physics (2 levels)

*Statistical Mechanics

Professional Training Courses

*General Astrophysics

*Stellar Astrophysics/Astronomy

*Extragalactic Astrophysics/Astronomy


*Celestial Mechanics

*Radio Astronomy

*Astronomy Workshop (2 levels)

Brief Summary of Courses:

*Mathematics: Solid and deep mathematical foundation.

*Classical Mechanics: In-depth studies of subjects covered in Physics in secondary school.

*Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory:

-Part of Physics which studies how dynamic (movement) phenomena and caloric ones are related.

*Mathematical Physics Methods: Mathematics applied to physical phenomena.

*Modern Physics: Advanced physics, such as Theory of Relativity, among other related topics.

*Quantum Physics: Physics at the level of the atom, study of Photons, particles, waves and the laws that govern them.

*Statistical Mechanics: Statistics applied to Physics at the microscopic level.

*Astrophysics: It studies the physical properties of stars and the structure of star systems (stars), through the analysis of the light they emit. With this data their distance, mass, density, composition, size, age, origin and evolution are calculated.

*General Astrophysics: It studies the solar system, the Milky Way, structure of the universe, etc.

*Stellar Astrophysics: It studies the internal structure of stars, their atmosphere, their evolution, etc.

*Extragalactic Astrophysics: Studies at the level of galaxies and expansion the universe.

*Astrometry: It defines the position and location of the stars by the accompaniment of the movements and the measurement of their speeds. For that, besides doing mathematical calculations, instruments like astrolabes and meridian circles are used.

*Celestial Mechanics: The movements of planets, satellites, comets and asteroids are studied with the use of star charts, observation instruments and mathematical calculations.

*Radio Astronomy: It investigates forms of electromagnetic radiation coming out of the Universe, in addition to the light propagated by celestial bodies, such as x and gamma rays.

It is worked in astronomical observatories with optical telescopes and radio telescopes settled in artificial satellites.

*Astronomy Workshop (2 levels): Telescopes as tools in Astronomy.

Astronomy Instrumentation: its history and instruments of last generation, Mass Determination. -Surface temperatures, Chemical composition in the universe, among others.


The research is focused in the areas of:

-Cosmology (General laws which govern the universe).

-Clusters (Minor stellar group)

-Groups of Galaxies (Large grouping of stars in the form of an ellipsoid of revolution)

-Supernovas (Explosive final stage of the life of a star).

Astronomy Student Expected Skills:

Analysis of Physical Situations

The student’s ability to analyze a physical situation is valued. That implies the separation and identification of events that occur, of the laws which govern them with their mathematical expressions and validity range, the factors which intervene in the phenomenon and the causes which originate it.

The correct interpretation of the information available in the statement of the problem or phenomenon is also valued, both in the understanding of its reading and in knowing how to consider the numerical data which are related to the phenomenon and their simplifications and idealizations, either tacitly or expressly.

Relation with the Experience

The ability to apply the content to concrete situations of the student’s personal experience is valued, acquired through the daily observation of reality (natural or technological) and of the possible experimentation he had performed.

Specifically, the ability to describe facts and everyday situations expressed in everyday speech, in scientific terms, and the acquisition of the sense of error, of approximation and estimation.

The language and scientific expression

In general, conceptual clarity, logical order and accuracy are valued.

In particular, the direct argument (the shortest way) the ability to express physical concepts in mathematical language, the interpretation of the mathematical expressions and of the results obtained, the use of diagrams, the graphic representation of phenomena and the proper use of units.

Vocation, Skills and Interests required in the candidate to this career


-Taste for observing daily situations where physical phenomena are expressed and interest in understanding them or find them an explanation.

-Interest in the schematization and quantification of these phenomena.

-Curiosity for natural physical phenomena.

-Intrigue and permanent fascination with cosmos and stars phenomena.

Situations like the following should motivate you:

-If a beam of light will pass from the air to water.

-Knowing that the index of refraction of water to air is n>1.

-What would happen with its propagation speed? With its frequency? With its wavelength?

-If two satellites were in the same orbit (Ra = Rb) and had different mass (Ma < Mb), which one would move faster?


-Capacity of observation and concentration.

-Analytic Capacity, abstraction ability, logical reasoning.

-Spatial ability, physical-mechanical reasoning.

-Synthesis capacity, inductive ability, deductive ability.

(All these aptitudes are presented in the website).


-A specific yearning for the investigation of the origin of cosmic life and its evolution; and in general, by natural physical phenomena.

Or any specific dream or longing which feels involved or oriented towards this direction from the physical aspect of nature.

Candidate Personality

-Observer, methodical, patient, intellectual, urban.

Work Scope

-Individual and group work.

-Of high intellectual activity and observation.

-In an orderly environment, with little bustle and low physical displacement.

-Possibility of periodic work in isolated areas, far from the city, where observatories are located.

Related Careers

-Degree in Physics, Meteorology, Geology, Oceanography.

*Glossary of Terms

*Concept: Cognitive and representative idea of a phenomenon which lead to a better understanding of it.

*Theories: Rational propositions, assumptions and speculations to explain temporarily a phenomenon or sequence of phenomena that have occurred.

*Method: Procedure, way of conducting an investigation.

*Investigate: Inquire, find out, take steps to discover and examine ideas, opinions and judgments of the scientific knowledge of the physics of astronomy.

*Analyze: Decompose the cosmic phenomenon in the principles which constitute it and find the relationship between them.

*Mathematical Models: Mathematical expression which respond in the same way as the behavior of the studied phenomenon.

*Interpret: Decipher the phenomenon, understand it, making sense of it.

*Software: Computer programs.

*Planetarium: Projection of the star chart seen from the Earth, representing location and respective movements of the stars.