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7 years of PVOL

The Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory (PVOL) is an online database of amateur images of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). It was developed in early September 2004, during my attendance to the first NVO Summer School in Aspen (Co, USA). It was first put online during November 2004, so we already celebrated its 7th birthday.

After a bit more than 7 years online, it was time to prepare some charts showing the evolution in the number of images published. The following graph shows the number of images of Jupiter available since year 2000 (PVOL inherited the images already available in the previous IOPW page).

And the 2011-2012 apparition of Jupiter didn’t even finish yet!

So, thanks to the growing community of amateur astronomers (260 listed today) publishing images in the PVOL, and special thanks to the Planetary Sciences Group of the UPV-EHU for the great work they’re doing managing the system.


PVOL in the AstronomíA magazine

I started writing the PVOL (Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory) system during the first NVO Summer School which took place in Aspen (Colorado, USA) in the summer of 2004. The system is up and running since November 2004 in the Ajax Cluster of the Planetary Sciences Group, in the University of the Basque Country, and available at


We currently have more than 200 registered contributors (50 of them allowed to directly publish new images), more than 9200 images of Jupiter (first one from year 2000) and more than 1800 images of Saturn. Last image received was just from yesterday:

Good news is that not only amateur observers are publishing lots of new images of Giant Planets every day (mainly Jupiter and Saturn), but also that two of the guys in the Planetary Sciences Group also wrote an article about the PVOL system and how it helps on the research of the atmospheres of these planets. The publication is not available online, it seems, so if you want to take a look at it you’ll need to buy the magazine (Spanish only):

Pequeños telescopios al estudio de los planetas gigantes“, por Jon Legarreta y Ricardo Hueso, AstronomíA, November 2010.