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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00937] Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory

BAA electronic bulletin

Ricardo Hueso  has sent details of the updated PVOL data base as described below
Mike Foulkes

Dear all,

I am very glad to write that today we are releasing the second       version of our database of amateur observations of Solar       System planets: PVOL (Planetary Virtual Observatory and       Laboratory). The new database is PVOL2: Planetary Virtual        Observatory and Laboratory and substitutes the former       database of the International Outer Planets Watch (PVOL).       PVOL2 is aimed to contain all previous data in the PVOL       database (images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and       new images from these planets and others (specially Venus).

PVOL 2 is available in the following link:

Data from Mercury, Mars and Venus is still scarce in the       database and we will upload images of previous years over the       following months after specific calls to amateur observers.       The current database contains more than 23000 images of       Jupiter, 7000 images of Saturn, 340 images of Uranus and 180       images of Neptune. Jupiter data is available since 2010 and we       plan to incorporate more data of past years (as well as       Mercury, Venus and Mars) in "calls" to the amateur community       in the next few weeks.

PVOL is compatible with professional databases currently under       development and is fully searchable through its own interface.       In the near future it will be also available through the VESPA       (Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access) portal (

Amateur astronomers can send new observations to the        following e-mail address:

We sincerely thank you for your collaboration       making your observations available to the scientific       community. You will see that much of this data is actually       used for scientific research in the "Publications from PVOL        data" tab by different research groups internationally.       Note that researchers may use your data for their particular       research field but individual observers retain all the       copyrights of their images (see the copyright statement in the       footer of the webpage).

You can search planetary images in the PVOL2 website in the "Search        data" tab. Note that many searchable parameters can be       incorporated and you may play with the search options       proposing many different combinations, including selection of       only maps or animations, or images by a single individual       observer or observations in a given time-frame, or the latest       additions to the database. The new "Feature" option works only       on tagged images which are currently only a few, but will be       improved in the near future and tagged by volunteers after a       specific call for collaborators. Besides downloading       individual images, you will be able to download large amounts       of images (up to 100) in a single zip file.

In a few weeks we will start to give some observers permission       to upload their images but for the moment all image        submissions will be through e-mail:

The former webpage of the IOPW PVOL database will still be       online but it will no longer be updated.

How to contribute? Please send us your current       observations of solar system planets (including Mars, Venus       and Mercury) in image files with information on the       acquisition time. In the next few weeks we will make specific       "calls" to amateur astronomers to send images of solar system       planets obtained over the past but for the moment we are       starting slowly since each image has to be uploaded       individually by one of us.

Please keep on collaborating with other research projects like       the Juno mission to Jupiter (,       the Akatsuki mission to Venus ( and other amateur databases like (ALPO-Japan

Gradual release: We are expecting that some observers       may play with the database at a much higher rate in the first       hours of this release than any time in the past 10 years. We       are planning a gradual release of the PVOL2 service. You are       kindly invited to use the system but please do not publish       news on social media about PVOL2 in the next few hours to       avoid too many simultaneous connections to the server from a       large list of potential users. This particular e-mail is only       sent to British amateur astronomers and I would feel grateful       if the BAA could diffuse this information over the day. We       will also be very glad to share links and notes concerning the       Jupiter activity reports compiled by John Rogers at the BAA in       the new "Reports" tab.

Acknowledgements: PVOL 2 has been made possible by       Europlanet 2020 RI, which has received funding from the       European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation       programme under grant agreement No 654208 and is hosted at the       University of the Basque Country in Spain. This work has been       made possibly by the programming efforts of Jon Juaristi       Campillo, hired under a Europlanet-2020 RI contract at the       Planetary Sciences Group in the University of the Basque       Country (Spain).

Best regards,

Ricardo Hueso,

Agustín Sánchez-Lavega,

Jon Josu Legarreta,

Jon Juaristi Campillo,

Planetary Sciences Group – UPV/EHU

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