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Extrasolar
2011-Dec-14, 04:59 PM
From 14 December 2011

http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.2772 I mentioned above that there were a lot of papers today on *Virtual Observatory*. This is one. This is more of a purpose piece, describing how the advent of the great new instruments in astronomy have pulled our attention away from the old-fashioned stellar astronomy, and turned it to more cosmological sources... and in studying the issue, they have come up with a mechanism to increase the efficiency of observing stars, and to lower the hurdles for turning out good research in this field. VO is their tool, and as someone who wonders about things as a hobby, I may start using it.



First of all, thank you for writing these, antoniseb. I was not aware of the NVO until you posted this. It's fascinating so far. I was wondering though, what kind of science can be done with this resource that has not been done before? Is there possibly enough data combined to infer things that have not been inferred before? If so, what might be some examples?

antoniseb
2011-Dec-14, 05:28 PM
... what kind of science can be done with this resource that has not been done before? Is there possibly enough data combined to infer things that have not been inferred before? If so, what might be some examples?

Great questions. I think broadly, there is sooo much data that there is no possibility that every possible correlation has been checked already... so people have ideas, and can check them. One of the points of this paper in particular is that plain old stellar astronomy has been losing mind-share to the fantastic mind-bending extremes in the cosmos. We are collecting information about billions of stars every night with better instruments than we had in the golden era of stellar astronomy. Perhaps you could track the flare history of high proper motion red dwarfs. Perhaps you could study the variations in brightness or spectrum of yellow giants... to name two of an untold number of things you can try and observe. It's wide open.