Astronomical software developer at the Zentrum fu ̈r Astronomie der Universit ̈at Heidelberg (ZAH)



Astronomical software developer at the Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH)


The Gaia group in Heidelberg seeks a Computer Scientist or an Astrophysicist for a position at the As- tronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI) of the Zentrum fu ̈r Astronomie der Universita ̈t Heidelberg (ZAH), Germany. Gaia is a space observatory to be launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in autumn this year. The mission aims to compile a 3D space catalogue of approximately 1 billion stars, or roughly 1% of the stars in our Milky Way.



We are looking for a software developer working to support for the scientific exploration of the data from the Gaia satellite as well as its electronic publication. In particular this will include programming in several programming and scripting languages (C, Java, Python, . . . ) as well as the design and extension of data base systems. One major task will be the development of a software system allowing the rapid retrieval of spectra matching an input template. The job will further involve intensive cooperation with local and international partners from computer science and astronomy.
The applicant should have:

  • at least a Master’s degree or equivalent in either physics, astrophysics, or computer science, 
  • solid skills in software development and knowledge of database systems,
  • preferably solid experience of at least one field of astronomy, ideally related to spectroscopy,
  • proficiency in English and preferably German.


Administration details:

Currently the position is for a fixed term until the end of 2013; however, within the next few weeks we expect approval for the time period to be extended until the end of 2017. The compensation is governed by the German Tarifvertrag der Länder on level E11/E13, depending on qualification (between 2700 and 3700 e per month gross). Please send your applications to Stefan Jordan,, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Applications in electronic form (in one PDF file) are highly preferred. Please include (links to) samples of code you have written. For further information, send mail to the address above or call +49 (0)6221 54 1842.

The application deadline is August 15, 2013.