HR: Employment Opportunities
 
 Job posting 18-62
Opening date: July 30, 2018
Closing date: January 31, 2019

TITLE: Astronomer, IS-1330, Grades 11 - 13; $67,643 to $125,335 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-federal) Indefinite
DIVISION: - Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates. Multiple selections may be made from this vacancy announcement.

Summary:

Selection for this position will be made at either the grade 11, 12 or 13. If selection is made at the grade 11, the selectee may be non-competitively promoted up to the grade 13 upon recommendation of the Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee (PAEC).

This is the position of Astronomer in the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. S/He participates in research involving orbits, orbital elements, and orbit determination of minor planets and other activities related to the functioning of the Minor Planet Center.


Duties:

1. Determines orbits for objects whose observations are submitted to the Minor Planet Center.

2. Function as part of a team in the processing of orbital elements and related information received by the Minor Planet Center. This includes checking data for both reliability and relevance, consulting with the contributors when appropriate

3. Function as part of a team to use existing procedures for making more sophisticated identifications of newly reported objects with minor planets observed only very perfunctorily in the past, so that new objects can as a result be considered known and their orbits added to the main database.

4. Function as part of a team to assist with the design and development of substantial modifications to current techniques for the determination of orbits from observations.

5. Function as part of a team to assist with the discovery and correction of errors in the MPC's orbital and observational databases.

6. Function as part of a team to assist with the development of new orbital integration and propagation routines, as well as the introduction of modem mathematical and physics techniques to the differential correction problem.

7. Function as part of a team to assist with the application of new procedures for determining the orbits of minor planets.

8. Assist in the preparation of reports on activities by the Minor Planet Center and on

In addition to the duties above duties at the grade 12 may include but are not limited to:

1. Independently contribute to team efforts to design and develop substantial modifications to current techniques for the determination of orbits from observations.

2. Independently contribute to team efforts to discover and correct errors in the MPC's orbital and observational databases.

3. Independently contribute to team efforts to develop new orbital integration and propagation routines, as well as assist in the introduction of modem mathematical and physics techniques to the differential correction problem.

4. Independently contribute to team efforts to apply new procedures for determining the orbits of minor planets

5. Assist in the preparation of papers on such analyses and related topics for publication in scientific journals and presentation at scientific meetings.

In addition to the duties above, duties at the grade 13 may include but are not limited to:

1. Function as part of a team while leading all aspects of the design and development of substantial modifications to current techniques for the determination of orbits from observations.

2. Function as part of a team while leading all aspects of the discovery and correction of errors in the MPC's orbital and observational databases.

3. Function as part of a team while leading the development of new orbital integration and propagation routines, as well as the introduction of modem mathematical and physics techniques to the differential correction problem.

4. Function as part of a team while leading the application of new procedures for determining the orbits of minor planets.

5. Lead the preparation of reports on activities by the Minor Planet Center and on related activities by the national and international community, as well as proposals that can lead to funding opportunities.

6. Present these reports and proposals at national and international meetings.

7. Lead the preparation of papers on such analyses and related topics for publication in scientific journals and presentation at scientific meetings.


Qualifications:

Basic Requirements:

A. Degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. The course work must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics. OR

B. Combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours of courses equivalent to a major in any combination of astronomy, space science, physics, mathematics, and electronics, with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown below:

Grade 11:

Master's or equivalent graduate degree or 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 09 that should demonstrate competence with using available orbit fitting software.

Grade 12:

A. A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a related field

OR

B. A minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 11 level in the normal line of progress for this occupation which should demonstrate the ability to develop new techniques for fitting and analyzing minor planet orbits.

OR

C. A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above.

Grade 13:

A minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 12 level in the normal line of progression for the occupation which should demonstrate the ability to lead others in developing software packages or theoretical approaches for studying problems in the field of solar system dynamics.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

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