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Published 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The Digital Sky Project: Prototyping Virtual Observatory Technologies


Astronomy is entering a new era as multiple, large area, digital sky surveys are in production. The resulting datasets are truly remarkable in their own right; however, a revolutionary step arises in the aggregation of complimentary multi-wavelength surveys (i.e., the crossidentification of a billion sources) . The federation of these large datasets is already underway, and is producing a major paradigm shift as Astronomy has suddenly become an immensely data-rich field. This new paradigm will enable quantitatively and qualitatively new science, from statistical studies of our Galaxy and the large-scale structure in the universe, to discoveries of rare, unusual, or even completely new types of astronomical objects and phenomena. Federating and then exploring these large datasets, however, is an extremely challenging task. The Digital Sky project was initiated with this task in mind and is working to develop the techniques and technologies necessary to solve the problems inherent in federating these large databases, as well as the mining of the resultant aggregate data.

Additional Information

© 2001 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. We wish to thank the members of the Digital Sky project, which is funded through the NPACI program (NSF Cooperative Agreement ACI-96-19020), and the many Pasadena area virtual observatory enthusiasts for stimulating discussions.

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