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Proceedings Paper

Methodology and tools for astronomical research
Author(s): Riccardo Giacconi
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Paper Abstract

We are fortunate to live in a new heroic period of astronomy. In the second half of this century our understanding of the universe has undergone an exciting and profound change. This has been brought about by a number of factors: the development of physics, the discovery of astronomy, the extension of observations to all wavelengths from radio to x rays and finally the development of computers. These new findings and tools have permitted us to elaborate new theories and models of the universe as a whole. In my own mind I see three great themes for the next century of astronomy. The first is the quest for physics. The second is the quest for the origins. The third is what I could call the quest for living space. To pursue these themes we study the universe in the entire electromagnetic spectrum of wavelengths with ever larger telescopes and ever more refined detectors and instruments as we heard at this conference. The new facilities are producing and will produce ever larger quantities of data in such amounts that the information cannot be received, calibrated, analyzed and even understood in traditional ways.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 March 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2871, Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow, (21 March 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.269115
Show Author Affiliations
Riccardo Giacconi, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2871:
Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow
Arne L. Ardeberg, Editor(s)

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