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Paper: Astronomy in the Framework of the Virtual Observatory
Volume: 6, Twenty Years of ADASS
Page: 287
Authors: Solano, E.
Abstract: The advances in technology (telescope design and fabrication, large-scale detector arrays, communication networks, storage and management of archival data) are producing a revolution in Astronomy. Although this scenario of multi-Terabyte on-line datasets interlinked through high-speed networks should lead to a more complete and less biased understanding of complex astrophysical phenomena, the reality is that the progress in the scientific exploitation is not keeping pace with the exponential growth of data. Two are the major limiting factors for this, namely, the absence of a real interoperability among astronomical archives and the inefficiency of the classical methods of retrieving and analyzing astronomical data to tackle the new vast datasets. The Virtual Observatory is an international project that aims to solve these problems by means of: a) the creation of a federation of astronomical archives that, with the implementation of new technologies and standards, provides an efficient access to the astronomical data (“data grid”). b) the development and implementation of analysis tools by the data centres holding the data (“service grid”). After a brief description of the reasons driving the creation of a project like the Virtual Observatory I will describe some of the science cases that are presently tackled in the context of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA1) and the impact that using a VO methodology has had on them.
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