Use the VAO Now: Data Discovery Tool

The Data Discovery Tool allows anyone to search the entire worldwide network of data archives of the VAO's participating institutions. Using the tool, the public has access to the beautiful astronomical images they have seen in the media.

This page provides a short introduction to using the Data Discovery Tool. We also offer a longer, illustrated, step-by-step tutorial to lead the user through a sample search with the tool.

The tutorial is based on the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) Data Discovery Tool, version 1.0, beta 1.

To use this tool, Javascript must be enabled. This beta version works best with Firefox (v3.x or greater), Chrome, and Safari. The tool may not be compatible with all versions of Internet Explorer.

QUICK LOOK: A Hubble Space Telescope image of Galaxy M83

In this tutorial, a user searches the beautiful astronomical press release (PR) images from Hubble Space Telescope.

  1. Type into your browser.
  2. Click the "Launch" button.
  3. In the search box at top, type "M83". To the right of the search bar, you will find the Radius bar. Click on the drop-down arrow and select "Deg". Click on the "Search" button.
  4. You can see the progress of your search at the top left, in percentage of resources searched. Click "Refresh Table" to include recent resources searched. In this example, be sure that at least 50% of the resources are searched and in the table before proceeding.
  5. On the left, in the "categories" section, select "Images."
  6. In the "Waveband" section, select "Optical."
  7. In the search results window, select "HST PR Images 2008..."
  8. Click on the "Continue to Data" button at the top of the new Summary window.
  9. Click on one of the selections in the new search window tab.
  10. To view details of the image, click on the double arrows to the right of "Expand for Details" at the bottom of the Summary window.
  11. To download the image, click on the "resourceurl" link in the expanded details section.
  12. If you would like to find other Hubble Press Release Images, follow the previous steps with any of the following objects:

Additional Information: