New images from Pluto! New images of Comet 67P/C-G! New images of Ceres! This has been a week of "Too Much Input!"
Yesterday, new images of Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft had Twitter awash with admiration; some were saying that the following image is the most compelling ever released from the space program. I'm not quite there, but close - it is jaw-dropping!
The ESA's Rosetta mission posted some post-perigee images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, still active and jetting:
NASA's Dawn mission, currently in its high level mapping orbit, has been posting copious amounts of new images of the surface of dwarf planet Ceres:
For years now, at every meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society, fellow Solar System Ambassador Ken Bertin has presented an "In the News" segment; he mentioned to me that two decades ago, there was so little astronomy and space science news, he had trouble putting together much of a report. Today, he has to sift through dozens of interesting stories, every two weeks, and cut out a lot of info just to stay within his time limit. Data overload.
The goal of the ESA's Gaia mission is to create a stereoscopic and kinematic census of one billion stars in our galaxy. That will be an enormous data set.
There has been so much data collected from the Moon, Mars, Vesta, Mercury, Asteroid and Exoplanet search programs, that it's difficult (or impossible) for mission scientists to analyze all of it. Numerous citizen science projects have been developed to allow anybody to help by analyzing images. BTW: These are great programs for students to get involved with!
I'm curious how this trend of data overload will continue to evolve, and what facets of our society it may be affecting - such as teaching, education, policy-making, etc.