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Carol ChristianCarol Christian
Google Sky and Virtual Observatories: making large archives available to science communities

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM
(Refreshments at 3:00 PM)

Many individuals, including researchers, were amazed at how intuitive and fascinating Google Earth was after its release in mid-2005. Numerous individuals, scientists, organizations and federal agencies have made vast amounts of earth data available through Google Earth. We have worked with Google personnel over the last two years to adapt the Google Earth technology to present data from the sky. The initial release of Sky in GoogleEarth (August 2007) included imagery from several all sky surveys and the Hubble Space Telescope. Immediately a plethora of contributions to Sky have appeared, largely from the professional research community. In this talk we will introduce Google Sky and discuss its potential for being a discovery tool for the terabytes of astronomical data accessible through the National Virtual Observatory and other sources.

Dr. Christian is a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and serves as the Education Director for the National Virtual Observatory Project. In that role, she fosters collaboration across a variety of education projects making use of the growing astronomical archives available to researchers, educators, and the public. She also is the Deputy of the Community Missions Office, a unit that provides technical support from Hubble to other astronomical observatories and data archives for multiple NASA missions. She also is a key member of the team who created Sky in GoogleEarth, which provides interactive browsing of the virtual sky. For three years until October 2006, she was on partial detail as a Science and Technology Policy Advisor at the Department of State to create simple interfaces to satellite imagery and related data for diplomatic and foreign policy purposes.

Dr. Christian received a PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Boston University. She has been a staff scientist involved at instrument, software and archive development at several observatories including Kitt Peak National Observatory, Canada France Hawaii Telescope, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer mission at UC Berkeley. She serves on Board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, was a councilor for American Astronomical Society, is a member of the NASA Earth Science archive users group, and is on Rochester's Center for Imaging Science Board of Directors. Her home page is:


IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Tony Gualtieri