Virtual Solar Observatory

If you have problems with this site, please contact the site admin, with the nature of the problem.

For general problems or questions, please visit our two google mail groups at and

We are currently in the process of moving all of our documentation to a centralized location. Please excuse the inconvenience while we rearrange, and if you have an immediate issue, please feel free to contact the site admin.


Ticket abuse cleaned up

2010 Oct

We've had to shut down allowing anonymous posting of tickets until we can find a good way to prevent spambots from abusing it. If you're a vso user, and would like an account on here to submit tickets, please contact Joe Hourclé. We also deleted 16,000 spam tickets, so it's possible that we might've deleted a legitimate ticket ... if you submitted something that's no longer there, please let us know.

Updated IDL Client

2010 Sept 20

There have been a number of new keywords added the VSO IDL client, this summer, including:

    NEAR       : get data 'near' a given time.
    /LATEST    : get just the most recent record
    LEVEL      : only return a given processed level (eg, '0', '1')
    PSCALE     : only return a given pixel scale (in arc seconds)
    PIXELS     : only return images of a given number of pixels
    RESOLUTION : only return data of a given level of reduction

    /RICE     : retrieve Rice-compressed data, where available.
    /NORICE   : do not retrieve Rice-compressed data.  (currently the default, but may change as support broadens)
    SITE      : specify which SDO data distribution site to use.
    EMAIL     : specify an e-mail address to use to download 'staged' data.
    /STAGING  : prefer 'staged' data over immediate URLs.
    FILENAMES : will contain the location of any files downloaded

See  the IDL client documentation for additional details about how these new search terms are handled.

The VSO Documentation Site has been updated

2010 Sept 16

This website hadn't been updated due to a combination of security policies, an untested upgrade locking us out of the system, and general neglect as we worked towards getting the SDO data distribution system up. In our new location, however, we can once again allow the public to submit trouble tickets; it might take us a while to full review, updated and/or close the many-years stale tickets, and to add tickets to accurately reflect the current work in progress.

Revised VSO WSDL

2010 Sept 02


SDO Test Data Released

2010 May 25

AIA and HMI test data have been released for scientists to see the headers and to test compatibility with their tools; is not fully calibrated and should not be used for publication at this time. EVE integration into the VSO is forthcoming.

Recent Meetings

The recent presentation list needs to be updated; older presentations can be found at Past Meetings

Data Model

The current version of the data model is Version 1.8 (updated 2005 May 20).

Frequently Asked Questions

User Questions

  1. How do I search for data using the VSO?
  2. How do I get the data?
  3. What are the holdings of each data provider?
  4. How can I get a URL to the data products that I've found?
  5. How can I make a movie?
  6. Why do I get records I wasn't expecting when I search?
  7. Why do I get fewer records than I was expecting when I search?
  8. How do I search for data using catalogs?

Data Provider Questions

  1. How can I become a data provider?

Application Programmer Questions

  1. How can I access the VSO through my own interface?
  2. How can I get the browse images (jpeg, png, gif, etc) for observations?
  3. How can I get a URL to the data products?

Also see our infrequently asked questions list.

Bug Reports

Please select 'New Ticket' from the menu at the top of the screen.