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Night Photon Registry
Treat telescopes like meteorological stations, so we can choose a patch of the sky, and view real time data about it.
As the astronomic research continues to collect data at a variety of
observatories of the world, the public stays curious of what we're really
getting, and cannot yet easily get a live feed from them.
The Night Photon Registry would be an organization that provides an
API, that returns live
data feeds about the photons registered by
astronomical instruments at each particular FITS coordinates. The API
would basically allow anyone to choose an instrument, and get live
of its CCD camera and spectrometer data, ready for doing any
Given that such an API existed, amateur astronomers would be able to
do the work easier without having a telescope, and the public could
zooming in to the sky with things like Stellarium (e.g., stellarium-
and actually see live photons registering about astronomical objects,
and take photos, e.g., leave your computer network and hard drive
collecting the feed data about a particular spot for long enough,
and you've taken a long-
exposure image. :)
[Mindey, Aug 14 2019]
[xaviergisz, Aug 15 2019]
Wikipedia: Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Aug 16 2019]
||I did once sleep out under the stars, it was
great, but stellariam with a projector indoors
would be better in the UK .
||Yeah, that's what I mean. In UK it's rather cloudy, and you miss those
||It won't be staring at any one target for longer than 30 seconds a time, but the live feed/API part reminds me of the LSST [link]. Wikipedia says:
||// LSST, unlike almost all previous large astronomical observatories, has committed to making all data public as soon as it is taken.
||Allowing for maintenance, bad weather and other contingencies, the camera is expected to take over 200,000 pictures (1.28 petabytes uncompressed) per year, far
more than can be reviewed by humans. Managing and effectively data mining the enormous output of the telescope is expected to be the most technically difficult part of
the project. In 2010, the initial computer requirements were estimated at 100 teraflops of computing power and 15 petabytes of storage, rising as the project collects data.
By 2018, estimates had risen to 250 teraflops and 100 petabytes of storage.
||Once images are taken, they are processed according to three different timescales, prompt (within 60 seconds), daily, and annually.
||The prompt products are alerts, issued within 60 seconds of observation, about objects that have changed brightness or position relative to archived images of that sky
position. Transferring, processing, and differencing such large images within 60 seconds (previous methods took hours, on smaller images) is a significant software
engineering problem by itself. Approximately 10 million alerts will be generated per night. Each alert will include the following:
||* Alert and database ID: IDs uniquely identifying this alert
* The photometric, astrometric, and shape characterization of the detected source
* 30×30 pixel (on average) cut-outs of the template and difference images (in FITS format)
* The time series (up to a year) of all previous detections of this source
* Various summary statistics (features) computed of the time series
||There is no proprietary period associated with alertsthey are available to the public immediately, since the goal is to quickly transmit nearly everything LSST knows about
any given event, enabling downstream classification and decision making. LSST will generate an unprecedented rate of alerts, hundreds per second when the telescope is
operating. [note: 10 million events per 10 hour night is 278 events per second.] Most observers will be interested in only a tiny fraction of these events, so the alerts will be
fed to "event brokers" which forward subsets to interested parties. LSST will provide a simple broker, and provide the full alert stream to external event brokers. The Zwicky
Transient Facility will serve as a prototype of LSST system, generating 1 million alerts per night. //