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Published 2001 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Exploration of Large Digital Sky Surveys


We review some of the scientific opportunities and technical challenges posed by the exploration of the large digital sky surveys, in the context of a Virtual Observatory (VO). The VO paradigm will profoundly change the way observational astronomy is done. Clustering analysis techniques can be used to discover samples of rare, unusual, or even previously unknown types of astronomical objects and phenomena. Exploration of the previously poorly probed portions of the observable parameter space are especially promising. We illustrate some of the possible types of studies with examples drawn from DPOSS; much more complex and interesting applications are forthcoming. Development of the new tools needed for an efficient exploration of these vast data sets requires a synergy between astronomy and information sciences, with great potential returns for both fields.

Additional Information

© 2001 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. First Online: 08 October 2003. Prototyping VO developments at Caltech and JPL have been funded by grants from NASA, the Caltech President's Fund, and several private donors. The processing and initial exploration of DPOSS was supported by a generous gift from the Norris foundation, and by other private donors. We are grateful to all people who helped with the creation of DPOSS and with our Palomar and Keck observing runs, and especially a number of excellent Caltech undergraduates who worked with us through the years. Finally, we wish to acknowledge stimulating interactions with other VO enthusiasts from Pasadena and other corners of the planet.

Additional details

August 21, 2023
October 20, 2023