The Anonymous Hera Interface

The Anonymous Hera interface lets you instantly analyze a single data set from the HEASARC data archive without first having to copy the data to an established Standard Hera account. You simply use the Browse web interface to locate a data set of interest, and then click on the 'X' Hera services link that is shown next to that data set. All the data products associated with that particular observation are copied to a new temporary Hera disk directory, and then the same Hera GUI as is used in the Standard Hera interface will start up allowing you to further examine and analyze the data. The main difference from the Standard Hera interface is that the data in the Anonymous Hera session is immediately deleted when the session ends, however before doing so, you are given the opportunity to copy the data to a new or existing Standard Hera account, or download the data to your local computer.

1 Setup Procedure

Before using any of the Hera services, the small fv program must be installed on your local machine. You must have version 4.3 or higher to be able to access all the Hera services. Fv is a versatile FITS file viewer and editor utility, and it also serves as the local client for communicating with the Hera servers at the HEASARC. Follow the simple instructions on the fv download page to install the software.

To use the Anonymous Hera interface you also must configure your web browser to use fv as a helper application. The setup procedure depends slightly on your type of local computer, so choose from the following links:

2 Query the Browse Database

To start an anonymous Hera data analysis session you must first select a data set from the HEASARC data archive using the Browse query interface. Any of various Browse interfaces may be used (e.g., either the Full or the Keyword Search interfaces). In this example, we use the Quick Search Form to query the ROSAT mission catalogs for observations of NGC 499:

Browse quick search form

3 Select a Data Set

After clicking on the "Start Query" button, a new web page will appear that displays the observations of NGC 499 that were found in a half a dozen of the many ROSAT mission tables in the Browse data base. The first lines from the "ROSAT Archival Data" table are shown below:

Browse query results

Note the "Services" column which lists various web-based resources for getting more information about each data set. Of particular interest here is the 'X' service link, which starts an anonymous Hera session.

4 Start up a Hera Data Analysis Session

If you click on the 'X' service in the second row of this table (Dataset ID = RP600254A01) then the following Hera data analysis window should appear appear after a few seconds:

anonymous Hera GUI

All the data products associated with this ROSAT observation have been copied to a temporary anonymous Hera account, and are shown in the main upper right directory window. You may now examine or analyze these data using any of the tools in the software packages shown in the left hand window. To learn more about how to use the Hera GUI,see the description of the standard Hera interface and the Frequently Asked Questions pages.

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