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Astronomers are using AI to study the vast universe — fast

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The next generation of powerful telescopes will scan millions of stars and generate massive amounts of data that astronomers will be tasked with analyzing. That's way too much data for people to sift through and model themselves — so astronomers are turning to AI to help them do it.

The bottom line: Algorithms have helped astronomers for a while, but recent advances in AI — especially image recognition and faster, more inexpensive computing power —mean the techniques can be used by more researchers. “The mode of operation has to change because there is no way we can handle those data flows,” says astronomer Derek Buzasi from Florida Gulf Coast University.