No More Lonely Nights

Only decades ago, astronomy was conducted in long cold nights at remote observatories by people who had to make the choice to isolate themselves for the sake of their research. Luckily for astronomers (and their families, one assumes), computers and automated telescopes have made things much less attention-intensive – and the ongoing development of the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) means that astronomers can get high-bandwidth data beamed directly to them anywhere on the planet. Which is excellent news for the field, but rather eradicates the romanticism of the lonely astronomer – that’s progress, I guess.