What is ANTARES?
Antares is a real-time astronomy system under development at the NOAO. We ingest all alerts from the ZTF survey and run filters on them in real-time. Filters are python functions that determine whether an alert is of interest or not. Filters flag alerts for distribution by various output streams depending on their properties.
If you're an Astronomer: ANTARES is a real-time Alert Broker. It allows you to receive and filter alerts from surveys. If you operate a survey, it allows you to distribute your alerts to the community.
If you're a Software Engineer: ANTARES is like the AWS Lambda (or GCP Cloud Functions) of astronomy -- a way of running arbitrary functions in response to real-time events.
How do I get started?
- To view alerts and lightcurves, create an account on this website.
- To receive automatic notifications of new alerts via Slack, contact us and request a slack account. (Or, if you have an @noao.edu email address, simply click here.)
- Use the python Client Library to connect your system to ANTARES streams in real-time.
- Write and submit your own filter using the Antares Devkit, to create your own filtered alert streams.
How can I write a filter and submit it to Antares?
You will find full instructions to develop and submit filters in the Antares Documentation.
How do we approve filters to run on Antares?
We approve/reject filters at our discretion, pending our creation of a formal review committee. We want to work with you to get your filter running. Please:
- Comment your code well, making it readable and understandable by others.
- Adhere to the PEP8 Python style guide as much as is reasonable.
- Test your code using the Devkit and make sure it runs successfully on the test dataset.
What are streams?
Streams are continuous logs of filtered alerts that match criteria based on a programmatic algorithm. These streams are custom tailored to look for objects of interest. More streams will be added in the future. Users will soon also have the ability to submit their own filters written in Python.
You can browse streams on this website. You can also integrate your own system to receive new alerts from ANTARES streams in realtime.
We are currently working on:
- A search-engine for our database of alerts -- In Progress
- Slack notifications of new alerts in your stream/watchlist of interest -- Done. Please contact us to request a Slack account.
- Object watchlists -- Done. See the Watchlist page.
- Ability to add custom Python filters directly through this site -- Done. See the Filters page.
- A DevKit to develop your own filters -- Done.
What other brokers are out there?
There are several other groups developing brokers to process the ZTF alert stream. Examples include:
- ALeRCE (Automatic Learning for the Rapid Classification of Events), U. Austral (Inf.), U. Católica (DCC), U. Chile (CMM, DIE), U. Concepción (DCC), the Millennium Institute for Astrophysics – MAS and U. Nacional Andres Bello – UNAB (DCF) in Chile, and REUNA
- Lasair, University of Edinburgh and Queen's University, Belfast
- MARS, Las Cumbres Observatory
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