The VO for Students and the Public

Several projects are developing tools and information for school students and the general public. The VO makes it easier to access real astronomical data, not just pretty pictures!

  • AIDA - This European project has developed special versions of professional astronomical tools which are adapted for use by school students, including improved performance on older PCs, and offline use. They have also developed a set of tutorials showing example useage of these tools. The tools and the tutorials can be found here.

  • VAO Education Site - VAO, the Virtual Observatory project of the USA, has a dedicated education and outreach activity. There is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use VAO tools to discover data, and also a link to World Wide Telescope, with which the VAO team work closely.

  • World Wide Telescope (WWT) - WWT is a Microsoft project that provides seamless access to a wide range of real astronomical data, as well as guided tours and links to interesting objects. It works through IVOA standards and protocols, and aims at being useful to both the public and to professionals. It works either through a dedicated Windows application, or through a web interface.

  • Google Sky - Google Sky uses the familiar Google Maps interface to display sky survey data together with various "showcase" objects from astronomical projects. A much richer interface is available if you download the Google Earth tool, which enables users to add their own data.

If you are interested in having your own project linked here, please contact us.