Member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance

GAVO Services

As part of its mission, GAVO applies VO technology to assist data providers – essentially, astronomers or astronomical institutions – in their data publication efforts. Where these do not want to operate their own infrastructure, we offer curated (i.e., we ensure maintenance) publication services in our Heidelberg and Potsdam data centers.

Data discovery in the VO generally happens through the VO registry, that by early 2016 lists about 120 resources coming from GAVO.

Some highlights

While data discovery in the VO typically happens from within VO clients – see Getting Started for details –, below we mention some highlights that may give the casual visitor some idea of the scope of our activities. The links typically go to proprietary web interfaces for browsers rather than the VO interfaces because most web browsers do not speak the underlying protocols.

A portal page listing many of browser-accessible interfaces to our Heidelberg data holdings.
A web service offering direct SQL access to cosmological simulations from different projects (Bolshoi, CLUES, MultiDark), successor of the MultiDark database (
An archive of theoretical spectra of hot, compact stars, fed partially by on-demand computations using Tübingen's TMAP service (which was developed within previous GAVO funding rounds).
Developed in earlier GAVO rounds, the Millennium services allow advanced queries against cosmological simulations in the tradition of the original Millennium simulation.
An all-sky catalog re-reducing USBNO-B, 2MASS, and PPMX, thus providing a relatively fiducial representation of ICRS down to about 20 mag in V. Also see OH Maser Database, ARIGFH, Delta-mu Binaries, MWSC, and many more for other catalogs for which we are the primary VO source.
Access to radial velocities for > 400 000 stars from the RAVE survey.
A service publishing scans of essentially the entire plate archive of Landessternwarte Königstuhl (about 20000 plates). See also the Lens Image Archive, Potsdam Kapteyn plates, ROSAT Survey and Pointed Images, or VLBI images of Lockman Hole radio sources for further examples of images services provided by GAVO.
The spectra from the guarantee time on the Flash and Heros Echelle spectrographs, available both merged and split-order thanks to the Datalink VO protocol. Other GAVO-run services giving spectra include zCosmos DR2, or Optical Spectroscopy in the CDFS for further GAVO services publishing observed spectra services.
A service computing stellar properties (Teff, logg) and abundances from medium-resolution spectra. See also Dexter for your data and APFS ephemeris for other interactive, computational services.
Around 150 tables that can be queried using the powerful query language ADQL through the VO's TAP protocol. The link opens France VO's TAPHandle application that allows the use of our TAP service within a common web browser
GAVO operates the Registry network that is, for instance, used by TOPCAT when querying the Registry; the link points to a browser interface for performing Registry queries operated on top of the standard service. Other VO infrastructure services we run include the Global TAP schema GloTS, a validator for VO identifiers, or the global PubDID resolver.

Other Maintained Resources


  • SPLAT VO enabled spectral analysis tool
  • DaCHS multi-protocol VO server, for publishing data in the VO
  • tapsh command line TAP client, for accessing table data in the VO
  • uws-client command line UWS client, e.g. for accessing remote databases


Outdated Services

During early GAVO funding rounds some prototypes were developed and later abandoned. We document them here mainly for archival purposes.

A prototype for a more complex, "interoperable" web application. Allows a user to query the ROSAT All Sky Survey source catalogue, cross-match this with a number of external catalogues to retrieve information for these sources in different wavelength ranges, and sends the result to a remote web service that classifies the results.
Another 'virtual telescope', in this case mimicking observations of galaxy clusters that have been simulated with simulator codes including hydrodynamics.
A Cone Search service developed within GAVO I