What is an astronomer?

Astronomers are scientists who study the Universe and the objects within it. There are so many interesting things to learn about within the Universe that astronomers often become specialists who focus on galaxies, stars, planets, star-forming regions, the Sun, the search for life, or the origin and evolution of the Universe as a whole. Many astronomers are also professors at universities or colleges and spend time teaching as well as doing research. Other astronomers help plan and support space missions.