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Oct. 27, 2020 by J. Tocknell
March 23, 2021, 10:20 p.m. B. Miszalski

What is the Virtual Observatory

The Virtual Observatory (or simply VO) is a set of services which allow anyone to query and access astronomical data. There are rules that services must follow in order for the service to be part of the Virtual Observatory, which are produced by the IVOA (the International Virtual Observatory Alliance).

The IVOA does not run, nor develop the software for, VO services, instead members of the IVOA (including the Australian members, which compose the ASVO or All-Sky Virtual Observatory) develop services which match the existing rules for a particular type of service (in IVOA parlance "Recommendations"), or suggest new types of services, and how such services operate.

Data Central runs a number of VO services, specifically:

  • TAP for querying catalogues
  • SCS for performing cone searches
  • SIA for querying images
  • SSA for querying spectra

Data Central is also working on useful example applications for other VO services.

Several examples may be found on the following pages:

More examples will be added as soon as we develop them.

Oct. 27, 2020 by J. Tocknell
March 23, 2021, 10:20 p.m. B. Miszalski