State ob­ser­va­tory part­ners with Alibaba on big data

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

The Na­tional Astro­nom­i­cal Ob­ser­va­tion (NAO) an­nounced a part­ner­ship with Alibaba Group on as­tron­omy re­search us­ing big data.

The part­ner­ship, in­volv­ing Alibaba's cloud com­put­ing unit Aliyun will re­sult in the es­tab­lish­ment of a big data re­search cen­ter, fea­tur­ing an open on­line database of astro­nom­i­cal in­for­ma­tion that en­ables users to ex­plore the cos­mos via a vir­tual space ob­ser­va­tory.

The cen­ter will also be able to sup­port sci­en­tific re­search with cloud com­put­ing.

Yan Jun, head of NAO, said as­tron­omy was one of the first dis­ci­plines to uti­lize data sci­ence. Big data opens up new op­por­tu­ni­ties for astro­nom­i­cal re­search but also fea­tures some chal­lenges, in terms of data col­lec­tion, trans­porta­tion, stor­age, pro­cess­ing, anal­y­sis and shar­ing, he said.

The vol­ume of astro­nom­i­cal data col­lected is ex­pected to bal­loon to 250 tril­lion bytes a year. The part­ner­ship is ex­pected to help up­grade China's ca­pa­bil­ity in as­tron­omy re­search.

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