Interview with Murat Tayyaroğlu… The interviewee is Sinan Koçak… He is a graduate of Erciyes University, Department of Astronomy and Space… He works as an astronomer at the Konya Science Center.
Murat Tayyaroğlu’s interview…
The person I interviewed is Sinan Koçak… Himself Erciyes University Astronomy and Space He works as an astronomer in… I had the opportunity to get to know this field by asking him what I was wondering about astronomy.
How did you decide to become an astronomer? Was it your childhood dream or did you decide later?
-Since I was a child, I had a great interest in space. Besides the size of the universe, the smallness of Earth, the planet we live on, has always intrigued me. I really wanted to read this chapter, which was my childhood dream. At the time of university preferences, the first two departments were astronomy.
If we compare the differences of being an astronomer in Turkey compared to foreign countries, what do you think?
-The advantage of being an astronomer in foreign countries, the equipment he used and international collaborations. A telescope with a diameter of 150 cm, located in the TÜBİTAK National Observatory, which works actively in the field of optics in our country. The construction of the telescope and observatory, which will operate in the infrared region with a diameter of 4 meters, is still under construction in Erzurum. There is a radio telescope within the body of Erciyes University Astronomy and Space Sciences that can work in the radio region, but it is not working at the moment. As we are not a member of international space cooperation as a country, we cannot be involved in most projects abroad. In our country, there are Astronomy and Space Sciences departments in 5 universities and Space Sciences and Technologies departments in 2 universities. Staff shortage is also a problem for someone who is considering continuing in the academic field. But with the establishment of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA), I think we will overcome these problems in the future.
After reading this section, what job do you currently work in this branch?
– Let me answer this question as follows so that the subject can be better understood. An astronomer who plans to work in the academic field continues their careers in the departments of astronomy and space sciences, space sciences and technologies and physics of some universities. They analyze the data obtained with telescopes in computer environments. Astronomers working in observatories established on mountain tops obtain data from celestial objects mostly with telescopes. and send it to the relevant people and they are responsible for the maintenance of the telescope. If anyone wants to work in the astronomer staff as a civil servant, there is an astronomer staff in the Presidency of Religious Affairs and when the staff is opened with KPSS, they wait for appointment when they meet the necessary conditions. or, like me, those who want to work in the field of astronomy education can work in science centers, planetarium or museums. I give basic astronomy training to students and visitors who come to my workplace in the field of astronomy education.
Where do you think astronomy is located in Turkey?
– In our country, studies in the field of astronomy and space show themselves mostly in the field of satellite technology. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we are among the world’s leading countries in satellite technology. In the future, together with TUA, there will be serious studies in the field of space engineering and space sciences, and I think that astronomy will take a central position in our country.
How many chances do people reading this chapter have as job prospects in foreign countries?
Let’s not just see this as astronomy. A person who develops himself gets the chance to work in the best institutions of the world. As astronomy is a universal science and the sky is free and open to everyone, an astronomer who develops himself in the field of astronomy can work in the best institutions of the world. There are many examples of this.
It has been said that Turkey will send people into space. What is your opinion on this subject?
After its establishment, TUA plans to send a human to space in line with its goals for the first 10 years. He plans to bring it back to Earth by conducting scientific experiments with a scientist he sent to space. But sending a human into space is a very costly and laborious task. First of all, it is necessary to choose the scientist who will go to space and the project he will do. Afterwards, this person should be given 2 years of astronaut training. The person going to space should not have any health problems. Turkey will send people to space, there will be no problem in this regard, but I am curiously waiting for what method will be followed.
Would you like to go to NASA?
-Every person working in a field related to astronomy would like to work at NASA. Both the conditions it provides, the working conditions and the size of the projects are attracting the attention of everyone. But NASA isn’t the only one doing space work on Earth. In particular, agencies such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS), the Japan Space Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the China National Space Agency (CNSA) have been doing as well as NASA recently. The most important thing that makes NASA different from others; have a very good interaction with all the peoples of the World and give all the details about their projects. For this reason, it is known as if there is only NASA on Earth.
Is it possible to do the profession defined by this branch of science without education?
-I know that there is no profession that can be defined as an amateur other than astronomy. I’ve never heard of an amateur doctor, amateur engineer or amateur physicist. The people we call amateur astronomer have not received any academic education, but they have accomplished successful studies because they have done a lot of research on the universe they are curious about. They are the people who make people love astronomy with the observation activities they organize. amateur astronomers. Astro photographers are constantly photographing the universe by making observations with their own telescopes. Most amateur astronomers have discovered celestial bodies, which we call comets, with their own telescopes. In summary, you can contribute to astronomy as an amateur without reading the astronomy section.
What advice do you have for young people who want to study astronomy?
-Developing themselves in Mathematics, Physics, English and Computer software. When they are studying the astronomy department, they must be actively involved in astronomy clubs. Being actively involved in such clubs will make great contributions to their lives. During the undergraduate period, they should try to take part in a project with their friends or professors and learn the article preparation process. Let them send their work to organized events and conferences or try to take part as speakers.
What does astronomy mean to you as a science?
-Astronomy may be a science, but for me it is a lifestyle. Astronomy is a science that triggers the sense of curiosity and research in the best way. Countries investing in the future should first develop themselves in the field of space. In a few decades humanity will settle on Mars. They need architects who know astronomy for settlements to be built on Mars, lawyers who will create space law, space engineering for new technologies, and psychologists for people to receive psychological support during their journey to Mars. If every person working in these professions wants to work in the field of space, they should learn the science of astronomy well. So the future is in space. Without further ado, let’s end with a quote that I really like; “He Who Has No Sign In Space Has No Word On Earth.”
Source: Space Mag Turkey