Enhanced Data Discovery Services for the ESO Science Archive

Published: 03 Jul 2018
Screenshot of the ESO Science Archive

The archive of the La Silla Paranal Observatory (LPO) is a powerful scientific resource for the ESO astronomical community. We are delighted to announce new capabilities and user services to enhance data discovery and usage in the face of the increasing volume and complexity of the archive holdings:

  • The ESO Archive Science Portal: New web-based access enables browsing and exploration of the archive with interactive, iterative queries. The results are presented in real time in various tabular and/or graphic forms, including interactive previews, allowing an evaluation of the usefulness of the data which can then be selected for retrieval.
  • Direct database and Virtual Observatory access: The inherent limitation in the intuitive way that the web interface enables archive content to be discovered is that it is unsuited to more complex queries, such as those that include sequences with logical statements like “and”, “or” and “not”, or queries that join different sources of information. This restriction can be overcome through direct access to the ESO database tables. Extensive documentation is provided in terms of practical examples, which are intended to provide templates for users to customise and adapt to their specific needs.

In this first release, processed data from the LPO are supported. Future plans include expanding the support to ALMA processed data and raw data from the LPO. It is planned that these new access points will gradually replace the current ones for La Silla Paranal data, while ALMA will keep maintaining a dedicated, separate access.

The full details are presented in an article by Romaniello et al. in the June issue of The Messenger.