Few sciences have been able to take advantage of the power of computers like astronomy. But with all this computing power, you might be surprised to learn how important a role humans still play in this science.
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- Reason 1: Humans can confirm that computer doesn’t goof up identifying things like supernovae
- How to detect a supernova (TED.edu)
- In a supernova, why do we detect neutrinos before light? (Astronomy Magazine)
- Reason 2: Humans are better at judging weird things to determine what they are, like planetary nebulae
- Can You Spot a Planetary Nebula from a Few Blurry Pixels? Astronomers Can – Here’s How (Universe Today)
- Planetary Nebula: Gas and Dust, and No Planets Involved (Space.com)
- Reason 3: Software and surfaces of worlds don’t get along or “mapping is hard” (Bennu, for example)
- Planetary cartography (Wikipedia)
- NASA’s Planetary Geologic Mapping Program: Overview
- Moon Mappers program (CosmoQuest)
- Reason 4: Humans can do things we can’t figure how how to even tell computers how to do! For example, humans can draw what they see.
- NASA’s Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
- New Horizons Unveils New Maps of Pluto, Charon on Flyby Anniversary (NASA)