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Interstellar overdrive - Linux and astronomy

Nov 30, 2009, 03:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"The use of computing devices is not new to astronomy, but was transformed during the latter half of the twentieth century by the progressive accumulation of data from satellites and radio telescopes, opening new possibilities for non-optical observation and data capture, and creating new fields of research within stellar astronomy, many of which are far beyond the reach of amateur observation - although amateurs have continued to make surprising discoveries.

"GNU/Linux, with its hobbyist traditions and Unix-like appearance, accessible code and scalability from mobile device to supercomputer, has been uniquely placed as an operating system for the specialist requirements of astronomers. Linux is used for the software that runs telescopes, the software that is used to pass instructions to satellites, and for the supercomputers and desktop utilities that enable astronomers to interpret their data."

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