A few data releases

Several studies have been releasing their data to scientists and the public today.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has released its HiRISE takings from April 5th to May 6th this year, over 600 pictures in total. The data have been placed on NASA’s Planetary Data System, according to Universe Today.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (which provided some of Galaxy Zoo‘s caged inhabitants) has released some new data. The latest catalogue release, which refers to the Sloan Legacy Survey that completed the work of the original Sloan Survey, gives an impression of the sort of stuff the 2.5m Apache Point telescope saw in the skies overhead during the SDSS-II surveys. It adds to the 6,000 quasars we already knew about, bringing the numbers up to 105,783, each with carefully measured position, distance and spectrum. The catalogue can be found in the Astrophysical Journal, on the free to view ArXiv or via this dedicated website. The Apache Point telescope has not been put out to pasture following this release. SDSS-III is a set of new surveys underway that will keep the telescope busy for at least the next four years.

Stepping up the level of complexity a little. The GOCE satellite has been mapping the gravity field of the Earth – measuring how hard the Earth tugs at a given point on the orbit of the thing. The rather good looking and very high tech little probe has sent back a lot of telemetry that has been put into a readable format – level 1b data. It hasn’t yet been converted into full calibrated global averaged maps of gravity – level 2 data – but it is now publically available.


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