Saturday, September 08, 2007

Astronomy and the Internet

Using a fast data connection, radio telescopes in Australia, China and Europe (and interestingly not the US) were connected into a real-time telescope almost as big as the Earth. The Earth is 7,900 miles in diameter and the two most widely separated telescopes were 7,645 miles apart. "The telescope-linking technique, VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) used to take weeks or months."

Since Google Earth added a sky view, scientists having been adding new sky data to it.

"One of the best and most incredible things about platforms like Google Earth is the ability of scientists to directly communicate and share research, information, and ideas with the larger public without having to enlist the traditional mediators of publishers and librarians. Perhaps more importantly, web 2.0 platforms permit everyone to work with the data themselves, re-working and re-combining the data in ways that the original creators would never have imagined. "