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July 3, 2022
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Self-supervised machine learning adds depth, breadth and speed to sky surveys

Sky surveys are invaluable for exploring the universe, allowing celestial objects to be catalogued and analyzed without the need for lengthy observations. But in providing a general map or image of a region of the sky, they are also one of the largest data generators in science, currently imaging tens of millions to billions of galaxies over the lifetime of an individual survey. In the near future, for example, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile will produce 20 TB of data per night, generate about 10 million alerts daily, and end with a final data set of 60 PB in size.Sky surveys are invaluable for exploring the universe, allowing celestial objects to be catalogued and analyzed without the need for lengthy observations. But in providing a general map or image of a region of the sky, they are also one of the largest data generators in science, currently imaging tens of millions to billions of galaxies over the lifetime of an individual survey. In the near future, for example, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile will produce 20 TB of data per night, generate about 10 million alerts daily, and end with a final data set of 60 PB in size.

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