AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 87. Building a Virtual Observatory
Special Session Oral, Thursday, June 6, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Ruidoso/Pecos

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[87.01] The National Virtual Observatory Science Definintion Team: Report and Status

S.G. Djorgovski (Caltech), NVO SDT Team

Astronomy has become an enormously data-rich science, with numerous multi-Terabyte sky surveys and archives over the full range of wavelengths, and Petabyte-scale data sets already on the horizon. The amount of the available information is growing exponentially, largely driven by the progress in detector and information technology, and the quality and complexity of the data are unprecedented. This great quantitative advance will result in qualitative changes in the way astronomy is done. The Virtual Observatory concept is the astronomy community's organized response to the challenges posed by efficient handling and scientific exploration of new, massive data sets. The NAS Decadal Survey, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, recommends as the first priority in the ``small'' projects category creation of the National Virtual Observatory (NVO). In response to this, the NSF and NASA formed in June 2001 the NVO Science Definition Team (SDT), with a mandate to: (1) Define and formulate a joint NASA/NSF initiative to pursue the NVO goals; (2) Solicit input from the U.S. astronomy community, and incorporate it in the NVO definition documents and recommendations for further actions; and (3) Serve as liaison to broader space science, computer science, and statistics communities for the NVO initiative, and as liaison with the similar efforts in Europe, looking forward towards a truly Global Virtual Observatory. The Team has delivered its report to the agencies and made it publicly available on its website (http://nvosdt.org), where many other relevant links can be found. We will summarize the report, its conclusions, and recommendations.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.