VOEventNet: A Portal to Astronomical Transients
Roy Williams (Caltech)
Andrew Drake, Caltech Matthew Graham, Caltech Rob Seaman, NOAO
Exploration of transient sources represents one of the last frontiers in modern astrophysics. The development of a comprehensive understanding of a new event requires real-time observation with multiple instruments. VOEventNet (Caltech(CA), NOAO(AZ) and Exeter(UK)) provides access to a wide range of astronomical events, the X and gamma-ray satellites in space, two microlensing projects, asteroids, several synoptic surveys in optical wavelengths, and others. There is no human in the loop: astronomical alerts and reports are uploaded to a publisher node in a special format, then automatically added to the web pages and also forwarded to other brokers in the network. VOEventNet supplies Google Sky with part of the "Current Sky Events" layer. We are now building a customized subscription service for these events. The idea is that both people and robotic systems can get the alerts quickly enough to respond with follow-up observations. Events have persistent identifiers based on the notion of event Stream: meaning a scientifically uniform set of observations that have not yet happened -- a "catalog of future observation". We will briefly cover authoring and publishing, discovery of event nodes, the Google layer, and subscription to event streams.
Mode of presentation: oral