VO Science in Prague : Aims and Topics

After a few years of early technical development, the Virtual Observatory (VO) is now at a stage where new science is starting to be performed with VO tools and infrastructure. The aims of this conference are to showcase this scientific progress and to look at how the VO will develop.

The VO vision

The vision of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is to make access to astronomical databases as seamless and transparent as browsing the World Wide Web is today. The data flowing from facilities and surveys is becoming standardised, compatible, and easy to examine jointly. Data centres provide not just data access, but data manipulation tools. These too will be standardised and compatible so that astronomers can mix and match different tools. Finally, data centres increasingly provide computational resources - data storage, search engines, analysis engines, and virtual user storage space - which are also becoming internationally standardised. The result should be an enormous increase in astronomical productivity. As each astronomer sits down at her PC, the world’s data, and all the tools necessary to analyse it, will be at her fingertips.


These are examples of the topics we are aiming at :

  • Cosmology and galactic structure with very large databases
  • Rare object multi-wavelength searches: the universe at 10 pc and z=10
  • Serendipitous discoveries with the VO
  • The Sun-Earth connection
  • Discovery of solar system objects
  • Population analysis: stars, galaxies, quasars, solar system bodies
  • Data mining with SDSS, WFCAM, VISTA, the LSST, and other large surveys
  • Data management for major facilities such as ALMA, ELT, GAIA, and SKA
  • Technical progress on the VO infrastructure
  • New VO-enabled applications
  • The semantic web and the future VO

The final programme will depend on the mix of contributions we receive.

Further information

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Topic revision: r5 - 2006-05-02 - AndyLawrence
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