The Virtual Observatory Network is an international initiative designed to hold all astronomy data in a single, transparent system, making the data available to all researchers regardless of their affiliation or access to observation facilities.
The Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO) is one of many now in development around the world. The scientific data obtained from ALMA are the property of the lead researcher on each observation proposal for one year. After that time, the data become public and any scientist may request access to them.
According to experts, ChiVO will be a useful tool not only for astronomers, but also for Chile's educational establishments. "Although the priority of ChiVO is to serve as a tool for professional astronomers, there are aspects of it that will enable easy adaptation for use in schools. Therefore, one of the project's objectives is to bring ALMA data to Chile's schools once the educational aspects are being implemented," explained Mardones.