Data and Data Archives

  • Albert R. Conrad
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Astronomy book series (BRIEFSASTRON)


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.


  1. 1.
    FITS - a Flexible Image Transport System, Don Wells et al, Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement, 44 363, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    FITS - a Self-Describing Table Interchange Format, Don Wells et al, NSF Workshop on Database Management, University of Virginia, 1990.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Report of the EOS Data Panel on the Data and Information System, R. Arvidson et al, NASA TM-87777, 1986.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, Alan Cooper, Sams-Pearson Education, 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Albert R. Conrad 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KamuelaUSA

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