HEASARC Browse Notification Service: Help


Main sections of this help document:


Introduction

The HEASARC Browse Notification Service (HBNS) is designed to help users determine if an observation of a source by an active X-ray or Gamma-ray observatory has been scheduled, processed or archived. The HBNS does this by generating a BROWSE query around the position of the source in the "master" data table for missions the user selects, and determining whether this query has changed from day to day. The "master" tables contain information on observations that are accepted, scheduled, observed, processed and archived.

So an observer can use the HBNS to be notified of the status of a given observation. Or an archive user can be notified as soon as new data for sources of interest are made public.


Step-by-Step Tutorial

  1. Go to The HEASARC Browse Notification Service at http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/W3Browse/notification/monitor_src.pl.
  2. Enter a user name and password in the appropriate boxes. Your password should be 8 characters. Certain characters are not allowed for user names and passwords. Do NOT use a blank space or the following illegal characters \ / & : < > , ' (slashes, ampersand, colon, less than, greater than, comma and apostrophe)

    Your user name and password will be needed to make changes to the sources or missions to be monitored and to view the changes. If you forget your password click the Forgot Your Password? link and it will be mailed to the email address we have on file.

  3. Press Submit
  4. Enter your e-mail address in the e-mail address box
  5. Enter a source name or source position. If a name is entered (3C273, for example) the position of the source will be determined using one of the popular source name resolvers (SIMBAD, NED, etc.). Clicking on the source name in the "Current Watch List" box will show you the resolved coordinates used for the source name.
  6. Using the checkboxes, select the missions to be monitored for that source. You can see which mission tables are monitored by clicking on the mission name.
  7. Press the "Submit" button to add the source and missions to your "watch list". An email listing your initial watch list will be sent to the email address entered the first time you submit the form. If you want your watch list to be e-mailed to you at any other time, press the "SUBMIT and e-mail List" button.
  8. Press "Logout" when done.


What Will Happen

After you've set up your "Current Watch List" (which is simply the list of sources and missions being monitored) the HBNS will generate Browse queries for those sources and mission tables (as noted above the tables queried are usually the "Master" tables for a given mission). It will then re-generate the query once per day, approximately. If there are differences between the original query and the new query, the user will be notified via e-mail and instructed to log on to the Notification Service page to see the changes.


How it Works

The Notification service uses a revised version of the websec web page change monitoring software to manage the monitoring of the Browse queries.

Some Points to Note:

  • The queries are positional queries of the "important" mission tables. The queries use the default search radius. Currently this can't be changed by the user.
  • The notification service is designed to flag new entries in the tables (if, for example, a new observation of 3c 273 appears in Chanmaster). However the monitoring software will flag ANY changes in the returned query. Occasionally, some data (exposure time, for example) in an existing table entry might be altered by a table update. The user would get notified of this change.

Caveats and Known Problems

  • In rare instances there may be cases in which a table entry for a source on the watch list is deleted. When this happens the "Changes" page (under "View details of recent Browse table changes") would show no entries.

Please let us know if you have problems or suggestions on our Feedback page.


HEASARC Acknowledgment

Browse and the Browse Notification Service is provided by the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. If using this service made a significant contribution to a research project, please make the following acknowledgment in any resulting publication:

"This research has made use of data obtained through the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center Online Service, provided by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center."

Please send a preprint or reprint of the paper to:

	The HEASARC
	Code 660.2
	NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
	Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
        USA


Page Author: Browse Software Development Team
Last Modified: 28-May-2008