Connecting the time domain community with the Virtual Astronomical Observatory


The time domain has been identified as one of the most important areas of astronomical research for the next decade. The Virtual Observatory is in the vanguard with dedicated tools and services that enable and facilitate the discovery, dissemination and analysis of time domain data. These range in scope from rapid notifications of time-critical astronomical transients to annotating long-term variables with the latest modeling results. In this paper, we will review the prior art in these areas and focus on the capabilities that the VAO is bringing to bear in support of time domain science. In particular, we will focus on the issues involved with the heterogeneous collections of (ancillary) data associated with astronomical transients, and the time series characterization and classification tools required by the next generation of sky surveys, such as LSST and SKA.