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Astrophysical Journal: the movie.

Its gray cover, though smaller, resembles that of other supplements to the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL. But if subscribers want to take a second look at a research study described in the July 10 supplement, they'll have to press the rewind button.

For the first time in its 97-year history an issue of the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL came with a video. Managing Editor Helmut A. Abt says the publication now expects to produce a video supplement every six months, graphically describing the text of the journal issue it accompanies.

The inaugural tape includes an animation sequence depicting the merger of two spiral galaxies, each rotating like a giant pinwheel; another scene shows the gradual clustering of newborn galaxies on their way to becoming today's lumpy agglomeration of celestial bodies. A single frame from such a computerized sequence doesn't really tell the full story," says Abt, an astronomer at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz. And at meetings, he adds, more and more astronomers are using videos to illustrate their talks and posters.

Abt notes that the cost of distributing the video--a collection culled from tapes submitted by researchers when they sent in manuscripts -- is only about $20,000, with postage accounting for one-third of that price. By early next year, he adds, the journal will release the first of a series of CD-ROM disks. Resembling a compact disk, each computer-readable disk will contain myriad data on star positions, redshift measurements, and other astronomical information that previously appeared in the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL or its sister publication, the ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL.
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Title Annotation:video included in space periodical
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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