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V. Trimble (U. California Irvine and Las Cumbres Observatory)
Sponsoring agencies, foundations, and tax payers are naturally interested in hearing occasionally what they are getting for their astronomical dollars. The spectacular images promulgated by HST provide one sort of answer. Another can come from quantitative analysis of the scientific papers that report results obtained using the sponsored telescopes and related facilities. Some earlier data on optical telescopes exist, but the present compilation appears to be the first to treat the full range of astronomical observing on an equal footing. The data base contained more than 3500 papers published in 2001 and more than 45,000 citations to them from 2002-2004. The distributions of these vs. wavelength, telescope, and subject matter will be discussed. That HST is an alpha primate will surprise no one. Some of the other results may differ from what you would have expected, especially the dominance of the VLA in world radio astronomy.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.