Data and Data Archives
Astronomers were among the first to embrace the digital era. In the early 1970s, long before jpegs and gifs, and digital cameras in the hands of everyday consumers, astronomers were spending huge portions of their budgets on CCD (charge couple device) technology. Many claim that the development of the CCD was the second-most important technological breakthrough in astronomy (second only to the invention of the telescope itself). For astronomers, the advantage of digital imaging is far greater than convenience. Once armed with the CCD, and its ability to quantitatively measure the intensity of incoming light, to effectively count photons one by one; they dropped the photographic plate like a hot potato.
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