South Africa has a long tradition in astronomy due to its favourable climate and geographical location. It is becoming increasingly advanced in this field with the establishment of observational telescopes, in Carnarvan and Sutherland in the Northern Cape Karoo, the latter being the largest in the southern hemisphere. Astronomy investigates celestial objects, space and the physical universe to understand origins and evolution.
Astronomers collaborate with other scientists and carry out research using large telescopes and advanced technologies. The majority of their time is spent in observatories and offices where it is common to work irregular overnight hours for night sky observation.
Astronomers need to have an excellent understanding of physics, chemistry and mathematical principles and the ability to work with and interpret astronomy specific software, additionally benefiting from:
Develop and test theories, software and astrological observation techniques
Analyse large quantities of celestial data
Design computer simulations to model physical data
Write scholarly articles based on discoveries and draft funding proposal
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Physics specialising in Astronomy or Astrophysics at NWU, RU, UCT, UFH, UFS, UJ, UKZN,UNISA, Univen, Unizulu, UP and Wits
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics at all universities
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Computer Science at NMU, NWU, RU, SPU, SU, UCT, UFH, UKZN, UL, Unizulu, UP, UWC, and Wits
Astronomical research observatories.