The World Wide Telescope: Mining the Sky

by Jim Gray, Microsoft Research, USA

All astronomy data and literature will soon be online and accessible via the Internet. The community is building the Virtual Observatory, an organization of this worldwide data into a coherent whole that can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. The resulting system will dramatically improve astronomer's ability to do multi-spectral and temporal studies integrating data from multiple instruments. The virtual observatory data also provides a wonderful base for teaching astronomy, scientific discovery, and computational science. This talk outlines the challenges and benefits of federating the world's astronomy archives. It explains why the World Wide Telescope will likely be a proving ground and poster child for grid-computing, for web services, and for data mining and visualization. One nice thing about this data is that it is accessible today to data mining researchers.

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