HYDERABAD: Astronomy enthusiasts now have an opportunity to fulfil their passion and earn too through AstroSoc – an astronomy enthusiasts' collective in the city. The organisation has invited applications offering jobs to amateur astronomers in and outside the city.
A person need not have a degree in astronomy or astrophysics to be considered for the job. Selections will be based on individual skill sets and interests in various aspects of astronomy.
Positions open at AstroSoc are full time, part time and on occasional or need basis too. Enthusiasts will only need various skill sets or expertise, like in observational astronomy, telescopic operation, astronomy education and outreach, do-it-yourself astronomy, and astrophotography.
They could also be well versed in astronomy virtual tools, such as sky mapping, post-processing, data analysis, and so on.
Jobs are also open for those who may have conceptual knowledge of astronomy but no practical experience. Those interested in learning while working as interns, can also apply.
"There has been a great response to this even from full-time working professionals in fields like software engineering, who want to help out astronomy with their experience and expertise. So far, we have received 30 applications, mostly from Hyderabad, but also from Gujarat and Maharashtra, apart from even the US and Australia. The applicants will be assessed on basis of their skills and interviewed continuously," said Praveen Suryavanshi, a member of AstroSoc.
He said they had shortlisted two candidates for a star-gazing event this weekend at Tirumalapur village near Jadcherla. They will help out with telescope handling and educating participants in theoretical knowledge.
Dr B.G. Sidharth, dIrector of Birla Planetarium, congratulated the team of AstroSoc for the initiative. Dr Sidharth said they have been running a course for amateur astronomers at the planetarium and observatory.
But the real challenge they face is that of job prospects in this field. "I have, over the years, realised the very limited scope for a conventional career in astronomy. India does not have so many opportunities, when compared to other countries," he pointed out.
Dr Sidharth said AstroSoc’s initiative increases chances of a career in amateur astronomy, something that is a subject of curiosity among most people.