Russian Virtual Observatory
Virtual Observatory is an implementation of the concept of electronic science in astronomy. It is a powerful virtual environment designed to enhance capabilities of astronomical research and scientific data output. The Virtual Observatory integrates into a single environment both giant astronomical archives and databases distributed all over the world and data analysis tools and computing services, using a set of uniform standards and technologies. The international virtual Observatory brings together all major national and international projects to create virtual observatories, with the main purpose to unite the existing archives of terrestrial and space instruments and to provide researchers and the public with easy access to them. This task appears very significant not only because of the enormous amount of astronomical data, but also because of their spectral diversity (from x-rays to radio). Each spectral range provides its own, unique information about a celestial object or a phenomenon and requires specialized expertise for correct interpretation. All this information is also integrated into the International Virtual Observatory and allows the synthesis of data to be used for specific scientific applications.
For the functioning of the International virtual Observatory requires a set of uniform standards and technologies, which develops, implements and supports the International Virtual Observatory Alliance, an international union of national and international observatories established to coordinate the standardization of description, search, access, and publishing data. One of the founders and an important members of the Alliance is the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO). In December 2001, the a Scientific Council for Astronomy of the Physical Sciences Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences approved the initiative to create a Russian Virtual Observatory (with the Astronomical data Center of INASAN and SAO RAS as coordinators), with the ultimate goal both to provide Russian astronomers with access to extensive data and metadata sources the observation projects has resulted, and to unite the information on data from Russia and some other countries of former USSR with their subsequent integration into the International Virtual Observatory.