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The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO) houses queryable data from multiple cosmological dark matter numerical simulations and galaxy formation models, in a database that is optimised for rapid access. TAO is accessible via the "cloud" through a browser for access anywhere in the world by the astronomical community. It boasts a clean and intuitive web interface. We avoid the need to have the user program SQL queries by providing a custom point-and-click interface to select galaxies and their properties, which auto-generates the query code in the background. Query results can be funnelled through additional "modules" and sent to the Swinburne gSTAR supercomputer for further processing and manipulation. These include the ability to:

  • Construct observer light cones from the simulated data cube;
  • Generate complete spectral energy distributions for model galaxies to provide multi-wavelength coverage;
  • Produce mock images of the sky in each simulated universe;
  • Select from preset "virtual telescopes" that make reconstructing existing surveys easy.

TAO is configured in such a way that additional modules can be built and easily inserted into the data chain as needs require in the future. More details can be found in Bernyk et al. 2016.


TAO is part of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) and is funded and supported by Astronomy Australia Limited, Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian Government. The latter is provided through the Commonwealth's Education Investment Fund and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, particularly the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) and the Australian National Data Service Projects.