ESO Archive Talks at EAS2021 (28 June - 2 July 2021 @ Leiden)

This year the ESO Archive Science Group has participated on the European week of Astronomy 2021, with contributed talks as part of the special lunch session LS1 Getting the most out of ESO data: a hands-on session on the ESO Science Archive and data processing tools, and of the special session SS14 - Legacy and stewardship of astronomical archives towards multi-instrument, multi-wavelength and multi-messenger science. The presentations in pdf format are here:


The ESO Science Archive

The Science Archive is a major contributor to ESO’s scientific output. In 2020 more than 35% of the refereed papers that made use of data from ESO’s Paranal Observatory contained archival data, in line with an upwards trend that has continued for several years. The archive user base has been expanding at a rate of 500+ new users a year. The success of the ESO Science Archive is fuelled by a combination of content, both in terms of raw and processed data, and of services that guide the users in exploring an enormous parameter space to find the data they need for their unique science cases. In this contribution, I will elaborate on both of these aspects, highlighting the lessons we have learned by operating and developing the archive. An outlook on things to come will also be presented.


Ensuring legacy value of data products: Phase 3 - the ESO solution

Since 2011 the ESO Archive operates a process which consists of preparing, validating, ingesting and publishing science-ready products for the community, the process is called Phase3. The main achievement of Phase 3 is to have created, in collaboration with its users, an archive composed of products stored in a homogeneous, VO-compliant format, with uniformly characterised proprieties. These properties made it possible to build enhance functionalities for data dissemination, discovery and further exploitation of the data and easier to cope with increasing volume and complexity of the archive holdings. The aim of this presentation is to briefly illustrate the Phase 3 process, starting with covering the main concepts defined in the Science Data Products Standard, the data types supported together with foreseen future extensions. An overview of the robust audit process in place in order to guarantee the compliance to the Standard is then presented. It consists of two part an automatic verification and a validation performed by an ESO operator. Only after acceptance the products get published together with the related documentation.


The necessity of careful data stewardship for Time Domain Astronomy: the ESO Archive Goldmine

Astronomers are aware of the changing looking sky since the first reported supernova event in 185 A.D., almost 2000 years ago. Yet, it is only with the advent of CCDs and robotically controlled telescopes that the field of time domain astronomy has literally exploded. However, data on known and unknown transient events are still potentially “buried” into astronomy archives and their "mining" is only possible if a consistent and homogeneous data stewardship is achieved. In this presentation I will focus on how a wealth of information can be easily “dig” out from ESO Science Archive. Thanks to the full characterization of the data-set ingested in the ESO Archive, it is indeed possible to retrieve more than 20 years of spectra, images, and catalogue entries collected with different telescopes and instruments and gain new insights on events such: Gravitational waves, Supernovae, and/or Changing look AGNs. I will conclude with a glance on how the ESO Archive will deal with the new fiber fed spectroscopic facility of the Vista telescope: 4MOST. Providing ~2400 high quality spectra per pointing, this will be an instrument for follow up of transient objects detected with the Vera Rubin Telescope.


Implementing FAIR guiding principles in the ESO Science Data Archive

The ESO science data archive hosts a wealth of astronomical data acquired in more than two decades using a variety of different observational techniques provided by more than two dozens different instruments at multiple observatory sites. The collection of over three million calibrated datasets, covering an extensive range of observational parameters, is publicly available to the community through a set of different interfaces for human users or machine consumption. The influx of new data is subject to careful quality control and verification procedures to guarantee that all data share one consistent standard in terms of data quality characterisation and metadata content. In this presentation we illustrate the implemented data management procedures to guarantee the long-term legacy value of ESO science data with respect to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship advocated by Wilkinson et al.


Programmatic access: enhanced discoverability and accessibility of the ESO science data

The ESO science archive has developed in the last three years new powerful ways that allow the astronomical community to discover and access its content, both interactively and programmatically. The progress made in terms of usability of the archive is stunning (see for example the "Lunch Session LS1: Getting the most out of ESO data: hands-on session"). This contribution focuses on and describes the main services and standards onto which the ESO programmatic access is implemented, and shows some examples of how they can interplay to provide a powerful interoperable data discovery and access layer. Science reduced data, scientific catalogues, raw data, calibration reference files, measurements and profiling of various atmospheric parameters of the La Silla Paranal observatory, and including the ALMA science data, are (almost) all exposed via the same standard interfaces. This is not just a technical achievement as the ability to query together datasets usually served by different interfaces increases the level of discoverability of the entire archive, and is therefore a way to maximize the scientific return of the observatory.

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