Virtual Observatory

Virtual observatory (VO) is a collection of interoperating data archives and software tools which utilize the internet to form a scientific research environment in which astronomical research programs can be conducted.

In much the same way as a real observatory consists of telescopes, each with a collection of unique astronomical instruments, the VO consists of a collection of data centres each with unique collections of astronomical data, software systems and processing capabilities.

The main goal is to allow transparent and distributed access to data available worldwide. This allows scientists to discover, access, analyze, and combine nature and lab data from heterogeneous data collections in a user-friendly manner.


Data integration across multiple disciplines is a key requirement for virtual observatories. We have designed and implemented a virtual observatory for the areas of solar, solar-terrestrial, and space physics that leverages semantic technologies.

We have used semantic technologies to design, implement, and deploy an interdisciplinary virtual observatory. The Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory is a production data framework providing access to observational datasets.

The Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO) Portal at vsto.org provides a set of guided workflows to implement use cases designed for the VSTO Project.

Multi-discipline Virtual Observatories are becoming more prevalent as more scientists need to access data from a broad range of disciplines that may be available from varied repositories.