In the future, an Exobyte of astronomical data per day...

  1. rhody

    rhody 765
    Gold Member

    Wow, what a Project: Square Kilometer Array
    This thread is unique, last one was written in 2007 concerning the "Square Kilometer Array".
    It looks like requirements will push new developments in hardware and software technologies to handle an exobyte of data per day. One half an exobyte of data sent around the internet today, March 2012. Someone, please mark and remember this remark to be revisited a decade from now. :tongue:

    Rhody...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Chalnoth

    Chalnoth 5,136
    Science Advisor

    Yes, the growth of retrieval of astronomical data has been absolutely tremendous. Doubling ever year.

    That means that every year, we obtain as much new astronomical data as has been collected in the entire history of human civilization.
     
  4. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Is the amount of data gathered so large because there are a great number of small telescopes as opposed to one big one?
     
  5. I heard about this project today for the first time. It sounds really amazing. Hopefully it doesnt' get canceled!
     
  6. Chalnoth

    Chalnoth 5,136
    Science Advisor

    Heh, guess I never answered this post, though I should have.

    It's a combination of things. Individual telescopes are getting higher-resolution camera elements which are more sensitive and thus can collect data at a higher rate. More telescopes are being built (such as the SKA that Crake posted above). New techniques such as adaptive optics (which uses a flexible mirror and a laser bright laser shined upward to create a false star in the upper atmosphere) correct for optical distortion from our atmosphere, which allows higher resolution as well. Larger telescopes are being built, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope: http://www.tmt.org/ (larger telescopes have a larger collecting area which allows us to collect the same image with less exposure time, or, if well-designed, probe the sky at higher resolutions). We're also probing the sky at new electromagnetic frequencies that we've never probed before, such as into the Gamma ray range with Fermi.
     
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