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What does an Astronomer do?

Contrary to the classical image of an old astronomer peering through a telescope through the dark hours of the night, it is very rare for a modern professional astronomer to use an eyepiece on a larger telescope.

It is far more common to use a charge-coupled device camera to record a long, deep exposure, allowing a more sensitive image to be created because the light is added over time. Before CCDs, photographic plates were a common method of observation. Modern astronomers spend relatively little time at telescopes - most spend a few weeks per year observing, and the rest of their time reducing the data and analyzing it. Read More