Astronomy in the Big Data Era

Open Night on 25 February 2017
“Astronomy in the Big Data Era”


Members of the public are welcome to an Open Night at the SAAO in Cape Town on 25 February 2017, starting at 20h00. Dr. Daniel Cunnama (SAAO) will present a talk titled Astronomy in the Big Data Era. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing.

Summary of the talk

As an increasing number of large astronomy projects such as MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) come online, quantities of scientific data produce will reach a scale never seen before.
New telescopes will detect hundreds of thousands of galaxies out to very large distances as well as various other astronomical objects. Far from pencil and paper calculations this deluge of data will require new and revolutionary methods to explore and understand the Universe we are observing.
In addition, increasingly large and complex super computer simulations of the various components of the Universe are providing massive data sets which can be used to better understand the interplays involved in galaxy formation and evolution.
In both of these cases new techniques such as machine learning will be required to deal with this new era of big data.


The Open Night will take place at the SAAO in Cape Town. The SAAO is located off Liesbeeck Parkway, next to the River Club.


Gates open at 19h30 and parking is available on site.

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