History of Astronomy (continued)

For the future, space explorers have proposed three major tasks: astronometrics, ie accurate measurement of all measurables in the celestial world; photometry and spectroscopy.

It is estimated that a complete study of the outer world will require the printing of approximately 7 million photographic plates.

Currently, the probable error in measuring distances to 0.03 arc seconds has been reduced. To realize the infinitely small of this opening, let us take into account that one second is the arc required for an angle to reach the two extremes of the letter O printed here, if the vertex is about 400 m from the letter. Well, 0.03 of a second is a 30 times smaller aperture.

Computers assisting astronomy

Much of the data obtained in the study of space is of scientific interest only, for example examining the escape velocity of galaxies. However, much of it also seeks a practical result applied to astronautics. The placing in orbit of artificial satellites, the attempts to use rockets for astronautic observations, the conquest of the moon and another day of Mars, are examples of this concrete use of astronomy.

The study of the starry sky now becomes a complex work, in which it is necessary to invest considerable sums and which has been almost completely discarded the individual work. The time when a Galileo or Herschel worked alone has given way to times when teamwork counts in anonymity for a true legion of men of science. The pure "astronomer" is an exception, because modern observatories need mathematicians, chemists, physicists, geologists, etc., whose close collaboration almost always depends on astronomical science, that is, to be able to go a few steps further along this complicated path of progress. human.

Increasingly, not only is there a need for collaboration from the observatories of a given nation, but also the exchange of information and ideas among all the observatories in the world.