Astronomy and Big data

Big data and Astronomy

Today I would like to speak about one of my hobby Astronomy. I watched all the series of The Universe so I thought I will write a little bit about Astronomy and big data.

What is big data?
Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit on your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it.

What big data used for?
Big data used within the organization for analytic and new products. Big data might give new insight to hidden processes and might lead to introduce new products or actions. In case of astronomy, analyze the data coming from the universe and help scientist to discover for example new planets.

The characteristics of big data?
Big data is big. I hope I am not surprising you. So you can not process it in a regular way and you can not move it conventionally. Big data is also messy and scientist say they spend more time tiding up the data than actually gathering information about it. Volume, velocity, and variety are commonly used to characterize different aspects of big data.

Volume:
Is the amount of data. Data are measured by terabytes, petabytes, and even exabytes. Big data analytic has the ability to processes large amount of information. Since data are too big to process in a normal relational database therefore big data is processed in parallel processing architectures like warehouses or Apache Hadoop. Data warehousing approaches involve predetermined schemas while Apache Hadoop places no conditions on the structure of the data it can process.

Velocity:
Velocity means the speed of producing, transmitting, and analyzing data. Those Organizations who are able to quickly utilize information gain competitive advantage. For example in astronomy scientist are able to predicts where and how many super nova explosions will be on the universe using big data analytics therefore they are able to use there resources more efficiently.

Variety:
A common theme in big data systems is that the source data is diverse, and doesn’t fall into neat relational structures. A common use of big data processing is to take unstructured data and put it in a structured form for consumption either by a human or an application.

Use of big data

Astronomy, Astrostatistics and astroinformatics are using big data to study the universe. So what is the difference between astronomy,astrostatistics and astroinformatics?

Astronomy is the study of the physics, chemistry, and evolution of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the Earth’s atmosphere. When scientist watch a supernova explosion, observe a gamma ray burst or just studying the cosmic microwave background radiation than we speak about astronomy.

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that studies the physics of the universe.

Astrophysics uses many disciplines from mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics to solve astronomical issues.

Astrostatistics applies statistics to the study and analysis of astronomical data.

Astroinformatics uses information technologies to solve the big data problems faced in astronomy.

We can say both astrostatistics and astroinformatics used to help astrophisics ans astronomy. And all of the fields are working together to make more discoveries. How do they do it?
Scientist use different sky surveys based in space and also in the ground. Probably the most known is “Hubble” space telescope named by the astronomer Edwin Hubble. This sky surveys are monitoring and making record of the different part of the universe.They monitor gamma rays and X-rays, ultraviolet, optical, and infrared to radio bands. These technology uses a lot of storage, a lot of petabytes therefore astronomy has to analyze big data. The analysis of big data contribute to a lot of new discoveries in astronomy. It helps scientist to study dark energy and dark matter, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and the structure of our own Milky Way. Scientist also can use big data to study stars and find new planets.

Hope you find it interesting how astronomers use big data. If you are interested in data science you will need three main characteristics. Have an expertise in some scientific field like maths or programming, astronomy physics etc. Have a natural curiosity and be able to go beneath the surface and be creative.

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