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Astronomers' Luck by Donna Burton

This lecture was presented at the South Pacific Star Party on 20 April 2012.

Title: Astronomers' Luck

Speaker: Donna Burton

Abstract: Many folk believe that there is no such thing as luck - just good planning or diligence or lack thereof. However, the state of astronomy in any age depends to a great extent upon the examples of various phenomena visible in the sky, the instrumentation available and someone to be actualy looking at the time an event occurs.

The astronomer's view of the cosmos may be influenced, therefore, to a great and, perhaps, almost unknowable extent by a combination of lucky and unlucky cirucumstances. I will endeavour to show how "luck" may play a considerable part in the picture that we have of the astronomical Universe.

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