The Virtual Astronomical Observatory has adopted standards to facilitate the dissemination of astronomical data. Data can now be acquired using protocols which allow users to retrieve data in VOTable formatted xml files. This system provides an alternative to data extraction via conventional astronomical catalog interfaces. The HEASARC supports these VO standards and is a major player in the national and international VO community. Users may now query the HEASARC's catalogs using VO-enabled services and specialized tools. This page describes how to get to the HEASARC VO-enabled services and provides information on other HEASARC VO activities.

HEASARC VO-enabled Services

Getting HEASARC Browse Catalogs in VOTable format

All HEASARC Browse Catalogs are available as formatted VOTable documents. Use http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/W3Browse/getvotable.pl?name=xxx as the base URL where "xxx" is the surveyname.

The VOTable format can also be chosen in the HEASARC's Browse system. VOTables can be read and manipulated by powerful utilities like TOPCAT and VOPlot.

Getting HEASARC Catalogs Using the Cone Search Protocol

All HEASARC Browse Catalogs are available through the Cone search protocol. The result of a search is a table that contains metadata on a source. Use "http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/vo/cone/coneGet.pl?table=xxx&" as the base url where "xxx" is the shortname of the catalog (more info).

SkyView Surveys Using SIAP

All SkyView surveys can be accessed through the Simple Image Access Protocol (SIAP). Use the base URL "http://skyview.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/vo/sia.pl?survey=xxx&" where "xxx" is a string or substring present in the survey name
(more info).

Finding HEASARC Services

The HEASARC publishes information about its services using the Open Archive Initiative. The HEASARC provides OAI using the OAI-PMH2 library. You can also search VO registries for HEASARC services at ST ScI, Carnivore, ESAVO, and Astrogrid.

HEASARC VO Data Services


The VAO Data Discovery Tool consists of a suite of Web and CLI tasks which facilitate data discovery in the Virtual Observatory. These tools allow users to find data, manipulate and filter tables, extract data near a single source or a list of targets and combine information from multiple datasets. For more information on the Data Discovery Tool,please visit the Data Discovery Tool page.


DataScope is a Virtual Observatory discovery agent and browser that allows astronomers to easily discover information available on a given source or location.  


Simple Query lets you search catalogs and data collections for sources or observations within a given radius of a sky position. An 'IVO identifier' for the catalog or collection you are querying is required.

VO-enabled SkyView in a JAR File

Users can build and customize their own SkyView application using this downloadable JAR. New surveys can be added for any SIA-enabled archive.

VO Operations Services

VO Notification Service

The VO Notification Service allows users to post a notice on services that are scheduled to be down or maintained. Any notices added through this interface will appear on the VO Monitor home page.

VO Validation Service

The VO Validation Service allows users to view the validation status of their VO services. Users can see how many of their services are currently failing and they can validate their services in real time. Links to view the validation statistics for all centers and for all service types are also provided.

Monitoring Services

The VO Monitor displays the status of VO services and allows users to test services interactively.

VO Statistics Service

The VO Statistics Service allows users to obtain uptime statistics on VO services.

NVO Book

This volume is a collection of the NVO Summer School lectures and tutorials. It includes a complete set of software libraries and worked examples to guide the astronomer/software developer through the process of developing VO-enabled programs in a variety of programming languages and scripting environments.

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Last modified: Friday, 14-Aug-2015 14:47:17 EDT