Find what astronomical objects are visible above LCO sites
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README.md

Whats UP

Find what astronomical objects are visible above LCO sites from a curated list.

Returned values

Each call (from either endpoint) will return JSON response similar to below. datetime is the date and time the call was made.

{
  "count": 113,
  "datetime": "2017-08-08T09:28:10",
  "targets":	[...],
	"site":"ogg",
}

The targets field (i.e. [...] above) will display to a list of multiple visible targets, in the format below.

{
    "name": "NGC7479",
    "ra": 346.2361167,
    "dec": 12.3228778,
    "desc": "NGC 7479 (also known as Caldwell 44) is a barred spiral galaxy about 105 million light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. This is a beautiful barred spiral galaxy, seen almost face on.",
    "filters": [
        {
            "exposure": 240.0,
            "name": "rp"
        },
        {
            "exposure": 240.0,
            "name": "V"
        },
        {
            "exposure": 240.0,
            "name": "B"
        }
    ],
    "avmdesc": "Barred Galaxy",
    "avmcode": "5.3.2.2;5.1.2"
},

All suggested exposure times are scaled dependent on the aperture parameter and targets filtered to be appropriate to the field of view for the specified aperture.

Endpoints

Search

Accessed from /whatsup/search/. All visible objects are displayed.

Visibility

We calculate the visibility of targets in the Whats Up database by filtering only those targets which are within +/- 3.5 hours of the Local Sidereal Time at the specified site and start. We only display those targets greater than 30º above the horizon at start. Further filtering is performed using aperture, as the different field of views of LCO telescope classes can make some targets too large or small in images.

Parameters

The form/API expects the following querystring parameters:

  • start - format must be YYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS in UTC,
  • site - 3-letter site code for LCO sites. Options ogg, coj, elp, lsc, or cpt.
  • aperture - size of telescope. Options 2m0, 1m0, or 0m4.
  • category (optional) - filter by AVM category of target, e.g. 5.1.1 = Spiral Galaxies
  • mode (optional) - Options are rti or normal(default). rti filters the results to only those with exposure times < 600s. normal does not provide any filtering.
  • format (optional) - Which schema to respond to requests. Options are json (default), jsonp or api (web browser view).

Example usage

Using required arguments only start, aperture and site:

https://lco.global/whatsup/search/?start=2017-08-08T09:28:10&aperture=0m4&site=ogg

A full example of all available arguments is:

https://lco.global/whatsup/search/?start=2017-08-08T09:28:10&aperture=1m0&site=ogg&category=5.1.1&format=jsonp

Date Range

Accessed from /whatsup/range/. Provides a list of targets visible in northern and southern hemisphere during specified time range.

Visibility

We calculate the Right Ascension of the Sun at the midpoint between start and end. Targets in the Whats Up database are then filtering only those targets which are outside +/- 4 hours of the Sun's Right Ascension. Further filtering is performed using aperture, as the different field of views of LCO telescope classes can make some targets too large or small in images.

Parameters

The form/API expects the following querystring parameters:

  • start - format must be YYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS in UTC,
  • end - format must be YYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS in UTC,
  • aperture - size of telescope. Can have values 2m0, 1m0, or 0m4.
  • full=true/false (optional) - Show full or truncated list of results. Defaults to false where a maximum of 30 random results are displayed.
  • category (optional) - filter by AVM category of target, e.g. 5.1.1 = Spiral Galaxies
  • format=jsonp (optional) - for jsonp requests. Defaults to json

Example usage

Using required arguments only start, end and aperture:

https://lco.global/whatsup/range/?start=2017-08-08T10:00:00&end=2017-08-17T10:00:00&aperture=0m4

A full example of all available arguments is:

https://lco.global/whatsup/range/?start=2017-08-08T10:00:00&end=2017-08-17T10:00:00&aperture=0m4&category=5.1.1&full=true&format=jsonp