Author Topic: Tips for someone wanting to go into the field of astronomy.  (Read 14930 times)

I am going to start schooling next fall in pursuing a degree in physics, with a focus on astrophysics. Personally I would like to study exoplanets, as that is a field that really interests me.

Anyway, let me get to my question. I graduated from high school 5 years ago, and in high school I didn't plan on wanting to go into the field of astronomy. What would any of you recommend for me to do to prepare for next fall and the 4+ years of college after that? My weakest subject is probably going to be math, just for the fact that I haven't done much for the past 5 years.

Any online courses, guides , or books that could help me prepare would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

James

Offline JH

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Zeilik and Gregory (https://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Astronomy-Astrophysics-Saunders-Sunburst/dp/0030062284) is pretty good if you don't have a background in the field. A more general introductory physics book would also be a good idea.

I'd definitely recommend brushing up on calculus and getting a head start on differential equations wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Zeilik and Gregory (https://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Astronomy-Astrophysics-Saunders-Sunburst/dp/0030062284) is pretty good if you don't have a background in the field. A more general introductory physics book would also be a good idea.

I'd definitely recommend brushing up on calculus and getting a head start on differential equations wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Thanks for the tips JH! I will check that book out.

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Offline BellaHamilton

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Hi,
You can start with some basic courses on astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology, cosmology, etc. For example, there are plenty of good ones on Coursera, or Udemy or studyastronomy. If you want to get more deeply knowledge there different university degrees. As I know that  Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology degree is such a good choice for the career in such field.

« Last Edit: 01/12/2018 03:28 pm by BellaHamilton »

Offline mheney

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You might want to look into a community college or adult education calculus class just to refresh before hitting college full time.
Something to get back into the flow, without worrying about the grades to start ...

Offline scienceguy

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Take a calculus book out from an academic library. An academic library is a library for a college or university.
e^(pi*i) = -1

Offline david1971

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Take a calculus book out from an academic library. An academic library is a library for a college or university.

If you don't have easy access to an academic library, there are plenty of open educational resources available.  OpenStax is an example: https://openstax.org/details/books/calculus-volume-1

Offline neithanhoward

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Hi
Glad you brought up this issue.
I have been doing astrophysics at the University of Colorado for more than ten years, so I can recommend something.
For starters, I can recommend you a good collection of essays on the environment. This is a very close topic, because you are interested in exoplanets, this is a good place to start.
Then you can move on to physics itself. I recommend Kip Thorne's course to start with. For entertaining reading, Hawking's books are suitable.
If you need more help or professional literature - please contact us!
Good luck!

Offline ulm_atms

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Internships, internships, internships, oh, and did I mention internships?

You will need that piece of paper that says you learned something...but I cannot stress enough that to get a job in fields like that...Networking with people in the field is WAY more important IMO then the degree.

You could get a 4.0...and still have a lot of issues even getting your foot in the door.  Internships are how you do that.  They are more important than a lot of people give them credit for.

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