The Universe Tonight

Jun 5, 2010 6:00pm
Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, Sunny Stewart

Data Processing in Modern Astronomy

By Sunny Stewart
Interpretive Guide at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy

Speakers Biography

Sunny earned a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  During that time he interned at the W.M. Keck Telescope, one of the largest optical and infrared telescopes in the world.  He has also worked at the NASA IRTF telescope on Mauna Kea.  Currently, Sunny is an interpretive guide at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy.

Abstract

Astronomy is a science of looking.  Because astronomers can't travel to distant stars or do laboratory experiments, they have to view the universe with telescopes.  The means by which astronomers record their data has changed over time.  Until the development of film in the 1800s astronomers sketched what they saw in a telescope.  When film became available they were the first people to use film to record data.  Today the tools have changed and the method of data collection has as well, but astronomers still study the stars by taking pictures and spectrums of star light. This raw data is not immediately ready to interpret and must be processed to yield useful information. We will discuss how astronomers "reduce" raw data and how the beautiful color images of space are produced.


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