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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A century's worth of sky
More than half a million images constituting humanity’s only record of a century’s worth of sky exist on glass plates at the Harvard College Observatory, a story in today's New York Times notes.
"Besides being 25 percent of the world’s total of astronomical photographic plates, this is the only collection that covers both hemispheres," Alison Doane (left) told the Times. She is curator of the glass database, which weighs 165 tons and contains more than a petabyte of data, the story says. There is no backup.
For the last few months, Doane and a few colleagues, along with volunteers from the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, have been setting the stage for a mammoth attempt to convert the entire collection into a searchable online atlas, the story says.