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GIBIS is a pixel-level simulator of the Gaia mission. It is intended to simulate how the Gaia instruments will observe the sky, using realistic simulations of the astronomical sources and of the instrumental properties. It is a branch of the global Gaia Simulator under development within the Gaia DPAC CU2 Group (Data Simulations). Access is currently restricted to Gaia DPAC teams.
VirGO is the next generation Visual Browser for the ESO Science Archive Facility developed by the Virtual Observatory (VO) Systems Department. It is a plug-in for the popular open source software Stellarium adding capabilities for browsing professional astronomical data. VirGO gives astronomers the possibility to easily discover and select data from millions of observations in a new visual and intuitive way. Its main feature is to perform real-time access and graphical display of a large number of observations by showing instrumental footprints and image previews, and to allow their selection and filtering for subsequent download from the ESO SAF web interface. It also allows the loading of external FITS files or VOTables, the superimposition of Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) background images, and the visualization of the sky in a `real life' mode as seen from the main ESO sites. All data interfaces are based on Virtual Observatory standards which allow access to images and spectra from external data centers, and interaction with the ESO SAF web interface or any other VO applications supporting the PLASTIC messaging system.