Introducing exoplanets, observing sites, telegrams and converters @ arcsecond.io

What an exciting time! I am very happy to announce that partial implementations of exoplanets, observing sites, telegrams and converters are now available at arcsecond.io! Moreover, People, Finding Charts and Publications have been also included in the pipe and will be announced later, once available.

Let’s go through it. 

What an exciting time! I am very happy to announce that partial implementations of exoplanets, observing sites, telegrams and converters are now available at arcsecond.io! Moreover, People, Finding Charts and Publications have been also included in the pipe and will be announced later, once available.

Let’s go through it. First, exoplanets. I’ve been using exoplanet.eu catalog since a long time in iObserve, and the current implementation in arcsecond.io uses that source. By itself, this catalog is already an aggregation of multiple sources. But the real value of arcsecond.io is integration. Hence, the exoplanets will be a consolidation of what exoplanet.eu return with that of the NASA Exoplanet Archive

To access an individual planet, follow this example:

api.arcsecond.io/1/exoplanets/51 Peg b

To access the whole catalog, leave empty the exoplanet name.

Second, observing sites. The story about these observing sites is amazingly long, since it became a concern at the origin of iObserve, when it was only a … dashboard widget, 10 years ago, with OSX Tiger! This is a new implementation now, and the definitive one, in arcsecond.io. It will allow to build a community-based source of information about observatories and observing sites.

As for now, the static list of observatories available in iObserve is available in GET only. But a lot more will come. Here is an example:

api.arcsecond.io/1/observingsites/La Silla

Same as before, leave empty the site name to get the whole list. You can also filter the list by continent (more filters will come):

api.arcsecond.io/1/observingsites?continent=Europe

Next, Telegrams! Very happy to have started this section. Troubles will come with IAU Circulars, but at least here comes a partial implementation of Astronomer’s Telegram (GRBs will also be added soon):

api.arcsecond.io/1/telegrams/ATel/7899

And finally converters. This is the logical completion of the sections, following iObserve own sections. As for now, I have only a basic support for converting coordinates. For instance:

api.arcsecond.io/1/converters/coordinates/ra/3.456/dec/70.2455

Stay tuned for a lot more!

Image Credits: E.S.O. / B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

iObserve Touch will come first!

Hm, the parsing of ASCII files isn’t the most motivating thing to do… and to test. In fact, the Coordinates converter of iObserve OSX is indeed coming. But in the meantime, I worked on iObserve for iPad these days. It is waiting for an update since way too much time! There will be some important fixes and a full support for iOS8. I’ll keep you posted when it is submitted to the store.

Don’t use the Coordinates converter…

… a new one is coming!

Users of iObserve, you all have certainly tried the main Coordinates converter, located in the « Converters » section. And you also know that it loads all imported stars from the database, filling up the memory. 

 The Coordinates converter in iObserve 1.4
The Coordinates converter in iObserve 1.4

Surprisingly, I never knew what to really do for making this pane useful. Just recently, a friend of mine (and a very efficient bug reporter…) enlightened me! I will stop loading objects from the DB and allow to import coordinates from a file. Obvious, isn’t it? I’ll also add the obvious counterpart which is the export of the converted coordinates.

The most geeky of us have certainly wondered about a command-line helper / utility, that would ship with the main app. It would be great, indeed. As for now, I don’t know if it is possible inside the MacAppStore. But it is on my « do if possible » list. 

Clear skies to everyone!