Astro-computing platform joins to International Virtual Observatory

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The project will facilitate the use and analysis of data observed with ALMA by the astronomical community, increasing the efficiency and productivity of major observatories.

The need in Chile to have a collaborative technological infrastructure to support astronomical research , led to four most important Chilean universities to join in the project "Development of an astro-informatics platform," benefited from the Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Development and technology ( FONDEF ) of Conicyt.

The initiative enabled the incorporation of our country as a member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) with the participation of academics from the University Federico Santa Maria , Universidad de Chile , Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, University of Santiago and University of Concepción.

This astro -informatics platform will enable intelligent management and analysis of large scale data (about 750 gigabytes every day) captured by the telescope Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA), generating quality information processed in Chile and made available the scientific community through a Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO ), being a key step in our country's contribution to the international context of astro- informatics.

Diego Mardones, academics of the University of Chile and Scientific Director of the project, explains that the platform will be operational in 2015 and its impact "will grow in time, to the extent that the volume of public data from ALMA increases. This tool will contribute to the data are actually used by astronomers from all specialties".

The academic of PUC and member of the project, Nelson Padilla explain that virtual observatories allow maximizing the data already observed by ALMA and other telescopes. "What an astronomer wants to observe many times has been viewed by telescopes, but with a different objective. Thus, instead of applying for observing time, you can get the data from this platform instantly increasing the efficiency and productivity of the great observatories”, says.

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