Styling Observations

Our public archive showcases all observations made by schools, amateur astronomical societies, and related groups that use the two 2-meter Faulkes Telescopes. Yesterday we had a minor relaunch of the public observations archive. This update adds some summary information to the user pages, adapts the pages to smaller screens, and adds a new experimental view by astronomical object.


The public archive holds over 65800 observations and over the past 18 months we've created new ways to explore those. One route has been to display observations by user which is particularly handy if you want to see all your own observations. However, jumping back to particular times in the past wasn't so easy. Yesterday's update adds a histogram to the top of user pages showing when they've taken observations over the past 2 years. The numbers on the histogram are clickable and narrow the observations to those taken in that month. We've also included the user's total on-sky exposure time to the text above the summary (mouseover the time to see it in seconds).


On the go

Over the past few years the number of people using smart phones to view the web has been increasing. From my own experience, I know that it can be frustrating to zoom in and out of pages formatted for wider screens. As a result, we've created styling that adapts our page layout for narrow screens. The result should be that the content is linearized (i.e. in one or two longer columns) making it clearer and easier to read without the need to zoom in and out to different areas of the page. This small screen styling has been tested with the default Android browser, iPhone Safari, and mobile Firefox for Android.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1391","attributes":{"class":"media-image","height":"483","id":"2","style":"height: 483px; width: 200px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"200"}}]]

By object

A final, experimental, feature is a display of observations by specific astronomical object. If you wanted all observations of the planet Jupiter you'd go to a URL such as Whereas the normal observation search would return observations of the "Ghost of Jupiter" nebula, as well as the planet, the object search attempts to limit the results to the correct type of object. On the results page we also show a summary of observations in the past year as well as a histogram showing exposure times that people have previously used for this object on the 2-meter telescopes. The numbers in the exposure histogram can also be used to narrow your results for that object by exposure time.


I hope these updates are helpful. If you have suggestions for further improvements, or spot any bugs, please let me know.

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