Astronomers use both ground-based equipment (such as optical telescopes) and space-based equipment (such as the Hubble Space Telescope) to make observations and collect data about space.
Because space is so vast, most astronomers choose to specialise. For example, some astronomers study distant phenomena like black holes, while others spend their entire careers trying to increase the understanding of objects in our own solar system.
Many astronomers work with the sole aim of improving scientific knowledge. They want to perform research that will inform scientific theories, so that we can better explain the universe.
Other astronomers do applied research, where they use their knowledge of astronomy to develop new devices and practical applications. As an example of applied research, astronomers worked on the satellite radio projects that allow us to stream music and other entertainment from space. They also assisted with various GPS products that have helped make our lives easier.
If you enjoy maths and physics and want to have a career that has an infinite amount of data for you to explore, then working as an astronomer might be right for you.