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Published August 5, 2019 | Submitted
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The National Virtual Observatory


As a scientific discipline, Astronomy is rather unique. We only have one laboratory, the Universe, and we cannot, of course, change the initial conditions and study the resulting effects. On top of this, acquiring Astronomical data has historically been a very labor-intensive effort. As a result, data has traditionally been preserved for posterity. With recent technological advances, however, the rate at which we acquire new data has grown exponentially, which has generated a Data Tsunami, whose wave train threatens to overwhelm the field. In this conference proceedings, we present and define the concept of virtual observatories, which we feel is the only logical answer to this dilemma.

Additional Information

We are grateful to all of our collaborators from around the world who share our vision. In addition, we wish to thank NASA and NSF for their encouragement in difficult times, and both SUN Microsystems and Microsoft Research for their support. RJB would like to explicitly acknowledge financial support from NASA grants NAG5-10885 and NAG5-9482.

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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023