About the USVOA
What is the USVOA?
The US Virtual Observatory Alliance (USVOA) is a US-wide open collaboration endorsed by the American Astronomical Society to expand and promote VO tools and services. The USVOA is also the US project of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), the global effort to facilitate VO standards and goals.
More astronomy institutions are welcome to join. So far, participating US institutions include:
- Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)
- Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI)
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA)
- NASA Astronomical Virtual Observatories (NAVO)
If you are interested in joining the USVOA or would like to learn more from a USVOA member, feel free to contact us. For more information about the USVOA goals and the underlying organization of the USVOA, you may read the following documents:
What is the VO?
The Virtual Observatory (VO) is the vision that all astronomy data, tools, and services can work seamlessly together to create a rich research environment for scientists. The idea is that with one good set of standards, all telescope projects that are built to work over all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (e.g., optical, X-ray, radio, gamma ray) can have data in common formats, and that data can be interoperable with common access and analysis software. Data from telescopes around the world is made easily accessible to all individuals, independent of their affiliation or access to observing facilities, through VO efforts. Astronomers can then use VO tools to handle data from these telescopes, regardless of the electromagnetic regimes of the datasets.
Scientists in recent years have been doing their research using many telescopes that work in various wavebands. With ever increasing datasets, learning how to access and manage so much information becomes an important goal in the community. Research within the VO will provide efficient interoperability between data and analysis, a must in the era of big data.