Because astronomy is so closely connected to religion, an astronomer is somewhat akin to (but not exactly identical to) a religious expert. In fact, astronomers and religious experts are considered to operate on different, complimentary approaches to the same question: what is the nature of the divine? Where religious experts consider the divine beyond the bodies the gods choose to inhabit, astronomers find the details of the gods' physical forms equally remarkable and informative in their own right. Astronomers have played key roles in the history of certain Stenza technological developments. During the Battle with the Stone Menace, the effort to imprison the creature attacking the Stenza involved astronomers en masse calculating the ideal place to position the Artificial Moon, as well as how to launch it into that position. Astronomers discovered Space Dust, and helped to understand some of its properties. Astronomers also discovered Subspace, and are currently developing a means to chart it. On the other hand, space travel has allowed astronomers to do confirmation checks on some of their distance estimates between stars, refining the estimate of the size of the galaxy and distances between it and other galaxies.
Astronomy students must, as with students of religious experts and medical doctors, must study for years. In the case of astronomy, this includes a curriculum of math, physics, engineering, and training in the use of astronomical instruments. Following this schooling is a term shadowing more experienced astronomers (akin to how medical doctors generally and combat medics specifically are trained).
Unlike most professions dealing with the divine and liminal (i.e. miners, religious experts, metalsmiths, etc.), astronomers are considered to be respected scientists and rational individuals more generally. Their knowledge of things which lurk in space and can be seen from the ground (with eyes or instruments) means their opinions are often sought on matters like wreckage in space, new objects trailing through the solar system, asteroids displaying unusual properties, and so on.
Astronomers study space, including the stars, galaxies, planets, and all the space in between. Stenza in particular have an interesting way of conceptualizing the science, as theologically, the Stenza gods have created the stars to be their physical bodies, through which they interact with the universe. Therefore, the study of the stars is the study of how the gods interact with the universe in a physical sense, and the consequences that has on the fabric of space (a representation of Úlêúlê, although that has little impact on either theology or astronomy).
Astronomers are highly respected and considered to be very educated on matters that pertain to objects in the sky or (from the perspective of a ship) roving through space. They hold a similar status to medical doctors in this regard, despite the fundamental liminality of the profession (although unlike other liminal professions, they are not regarded with a shade of superstitious fear).
Research / Scientific
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