Home Page Fri May 22 10:10:11 JST 1998
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Astronomy consists of three phases, discovery, observation and analysis. Professional researchers devote most of their power to the third phase, analyzing the data of their own targets. The first step, discovery of remarkable stars, has been done by amateurs. Because the researchers tend to observe only their own targets, and they often have no time to keep their observations, the second step, observation, also has been done mainly by amateurs.
However, development of technology is changing the situation now. Some observatories began survey projects to discover many new research samples, for example, near-Earth asteroids or supernovae. In those projects, enormous images are produced every night. Furthermore, amateurs began to use CCD cameras, which they can take much more images with than old cameras and films.
Now that we have enormous images of stars, and will have much more after this, we can expect to benefit by analyzing them. That is the base of database astronomy.
The main profits expected with those images are the two, discovery of new remarkable stars and accumulation of continuous observation data of many stars. However, the current situation is that the images are remained without utilized for astronomy, new stars are remained unknown and data of each star are not measured. That is because of lack of practical reduction softwares. Therefore, the current hot topic in database astronomy is to complete the software.