Member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance

What is GAVO?

The German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (GAVO) is the German contribution to the IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Association), the international effort to create and expand the Virtual Observatory (VO).

The Virtual Observatory, in turn, is an effort to improve access to astronomical data to get an idea what it is about, see our Getting Started page or the IVOA's answer to What is the VO?.

Even better, just contact us to have a VO Day at your institute.

What do we do?

We work with colleagues from many countries to develop standards. This happens partly on mailing lists that the interested public is cordially invited to join, partly during semiannual conferences, the Interops. Again, if you are into software development in astronomy, you are welcome to attend an Interop.

GAVO members also run numerous services, primarily at its Heidelberg data center and Potsdam data center.

Based on this expertise, we provide data publishing consulting and, as required, infrastructure to the German astronomical community.

A very important activity is the provision of software. For instance, GAVO members develop the VO publishing suite DaCHS, a generic UWS client, and the spectral analysis suite SPLAT.

Of course, we also do outreach teaching VO techniques, consulting on data management and data publication, and the like. As mentioned above, we do house calls, but we also offer Tutorials for self-study and have booth and splinters at the meetings of the Astronomische Gesellschaft.

Finally, we will gladly assist you in publishing your data to the VO. Just contact the friendly data center staff ; if you want, you can also talk to us at 06221/541837 (Markus Demleitner).

Who are we?

GAVO started out as a project funded as part of the German Ministry of Research (BMBF)'s Verbundforschung program. These days, people working within GAVO have several funding sources. As of 2017, these include the BMBF's e-inf-astro project, the EU ASTERICS project, the Gaia DPAC consortium, and DFG's SFB 881.

If you are working on astronomical software or data services, please join us and take part in our meetings, telecons, and our mailing list. Either mail gavo@ari.uni-heidelberg.de or just head over to the #gavo on the freenode IRC network, where usually some of us can be met.