Modern astronomy has been characterized by an enormous growth in data acquisition - from new technologies in telescopes, detectors, and computation. One can now compile catalogs of tens or hundreds of millions of stars or galaxies and databases from satellite-based observations are reaching terabit proportions. This wealth of data gives rise to statistical challenges not previously encountered in astronomy. This book is the result of a workshop held at Pennsylvania State University in August 1991 that brought together leading astronomers and statisticians to consider statistical challenges encountered in modern astronomical research. The chapters have all been thoroughly revised in the light of the discussions at the conference, and some of the lively discussion is recorded here as well.
The book will be of interest to statisticians who wish to learn about problems in astronomy (for example, the statistical problems involved in estimating the size of the universe based on a number of different scales valid over different distances) and to astronomers interested in learning about recent developments in statistics (such as survival analysis in treating nondetections in surveys).