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The Question

(Submitted September 25, 1996)

Hi, I'm doing a report on astronomers and I would like to know how it feels to be one. Where did you go to college? Are there any special accomplishments that you have achieved? If you could write back A.S.A.P. it would really help. Thanks.

The Answer

Like most astronomers nowadays, I spend most of my work hours in front of a computer. All the data are in digital form, stored on computer tapes and disks; we manipulate and plot the data and theoretical models on the computers to try to discover what is going on. Most of my observations are done using satellites; whenever I actually observe with telescopes at observatories, I really enjoy it because, in addition to taking data with sophisticated instruments, I can go outside and see the night sky full of thousands of stars, without city lights and clouds.

I was born and grew up in Japan; after my undergraduate degree (University of Tokyo), I moved to England and did my doctorate at Oxford --- researchers in any field are very international; I'm one example of that.

I hope you will come back to our web site again in the future: for one thing, we're preparing one-page profiles of various members of this group. Since we take turns answering the questions sent in from people like you, we will have one profile linked from our pages at any given time --- the profile of the person behind these answers. So if you visit our site often, you will be able to learn about other people at the learning center (although this may be too late for your report!).

Hope this helps,

Koji Mukai

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