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Robots Are Speeding Up the Most Boring Job In Astronomy

robots are rushing up most boring,

sciencehabit writes: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has, for greater than 20 years, pioneered amassing spectra from thousands and thousands of astronomical objects, from close by stars to supermassive black holes. However this yr, the survey is making a change: As an alternative of using a small staff of technicians for the day by day chore of plugging optical fibers into preprepared plates in order that — when positioned within the telescope — they gather mild from precisely the fitting place within the sky, the SDSS goes robotic. For the mission’s upcoming fifth set of surveys, plug plates are being changed by 500 tiny robotic arms, every holding fiber suggestions, that patrol a small space of the telescope’s focal aircraft. They are often reconfigured for a brand new sky map in 2 minutes. Though such robotic spectrographs have been constructed earlier than, the SDSS is a part of a rush to retrofit robots to older telescopes so astronomers can seize spectra from the wealth of fascinating objects that can quickly be streaming from new imaging surveys.Learn extra of this story at Slashdot.

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