Where Astronomy Meets Data

Where Astronomy Meets Data

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Brian P. Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Physics Prize winner, discusses his SkyMapper project, which is currently scanning the southern sky in unprecedented detail and has a peak data rate of one terabyte per day. The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder, an array of 36 radio telescope dishes being built in Australia, will generate two terabytes per second. This impressive array is still just a pathfinder project for the monumental Square Kilometer Array, which will scatter thousands of linked dishes across the desert and pose challenges in connectivity that today we do not yet have ways to solve. Schmidt predicted that astronomy will increasingly rely on IT to make sense of this sea of data, with IT specialists at the core of building new telescopes.

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