The US National Virtual Observatory hosted its second Summer School on 6-14 September 2006, at the Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colorado. Forty participants worked with experienced NVO scientists and software developers to learn how to do astrophysics with the Virtual Observatory. Participants learned how to use the data discovery, data access, and high-performance computing capabilities of the Virtual Observatory along with VO analysis tools and utilities. A series of software tutorials provided hands-on experience in using VO tools and services. Participants then had the opportunity to work on self-motivated projects, building VO-enabled applications and doing VO-enabled research.

The US NVO Project greatly appreciates the sponsorship of NSF and NASA for the Summer School, and thanks the participants for their attention and interest in the Virtual Observatory.

click for larger version with names

Lectures and Software

Below is the master index to the contents of this distribution. Material is organized as lecture notes, either as slides (powerpoint, PDF), or as a continuous text (HTML). Many of the lectures have associated exercises and sample code, which can be used pedagogically, or as the start of a software project.

In order to use the exercises and sample code the software bundle must be properly installed on your machine. To do this, you should follow the software installation instructions here. In addition to the exercises and sample code, there are some standard software packages in the distribution. These include astronomical software like Aladin, Mirage, TOPCat, VOPlot, as well as the web-server and development tools Apache Tomcat, Apache Axis, and Ant. These latter are installed as part of the software installation process. A full description of the software distribution is available.

Welcome and Introduction McGlynn
Software library installation and overview Graham
Foundation Technologies for the Virtual Observatory
Introduction to SQL McGlynn
Introduction to XML Greene
Scripting languages: Python, IRAF, IDL Kwok, Fitzpatrick, Miller
Advanced XML: Schema, Xpath, XQuery, XSL Plante
VOTables Fitzpatrick
Accessing Web Services Graham
Building Web Services Graham
Grid Computing Williams
Development languages: Java, C, C# Plante/Greene
Virtual Observatory Technologies
Protocols Overview (Glossary) McGlynn
Science Applications 1: Discovery and Exploration Tools and Libraries Kwok
Exercise 1: Finding resources in the VO Greene
Publishing data in the VO Plante
Exercise 2: Publish a service in the VO. Plante
Data Access Layer Clients (VOClient) (Python) Tody, Kwok
Data Access Layer Servers Tody
Exercise 3:Build a cone search client Tody
Exercise 4:Build a cone search service using local database Kent
Understanding VO metadata: Registry and UCDs Kent
Science Applications 2: Using VO Web and Grid Services (WCSFixer)(WESIX) Krughoff, Fitzpatrick
Exercise 5: Using WESIX Krughoff
Exercise 6: Using the Grid/NESSSI Williams
Registry clients Plante
Building SkyNode Servers (ppt) McGlynn
Exercise 8: Setting up a SkyNode: Appendix Greene
VOEvent Williams
Science Applications 3: VO Analysis using local utilities Kent/McGlynn
Exercise 9: Down and dirty with VO applications McGlynn
Using an existing environment in the VO: IRAF/IDL Fitzpatrick/Miller
Exercise 10: Making a VO-aware Tool Fitzpatrick
Combining VO elements to build integrated services Kent
Exercise 11: Show how to use a series of tools together Kwok
Managing data in the VO Graham
Exercise 12: Adding persistent storage Graham
The future of the VO Hanisch
Using the Virtual Observatory in Astronomy Research
VO Science Goals and Discussion De Young
Using the VO to Study Clusters of Galaxies Miller
VO science with cross-correlations Krughoff
Introduction to OpenSkyQuery Nieto-Santisteban and Williams
Exercise 7: Correlating Catalogs on the Web Miller
Student Projects
AEGIServer Rosario
Astronomy Workflow Editor Rogers
Theory Skynode Wagner
Fossil Groups Santos/Tamura
Image Comparer Aspin
ANCHORS Spitzbart
Deep QSO Survey Floyd/Muench
Shape of Galaxy Rotation Curves Catinella
Spectra Build SSA/SDSS QSO Spectra Kimball/McCusker
Datascope for the People Raddick
SIAP Server/Client Platform Skoda
SPM3 Catalog/Magellanic Clouds Exploration Viera


Software and installation instructions here