GAVO at the AG-Tagung in Berlin

A booth with a large screen, quite a bit of papers, a roll-up, all behind a glass wall with a sign UNI_VERSUM TUB Exhibition Space.

It's time again for the annual meeting of the German astronomical society, the Astronomische Gesellschaft. Since we have been reaching out to the community at these meetings there since 2007, there is even a tag for our contributions there on this blog: AG-Tagung.

Due to fire codes, our traditional booth would almost have ended up in a remote location on the third floor of TU Berlin's main building, and I had already printed desperate pleas to come and try find us. But in a last minute stunt, the local organisers housed us in an almost perfect place (thanks!): we're sitting right near the entrance, where we can rope in passers-by and then convince them they're missing out if they're not “doing VO”.

One opportunity for them to realise how they're missing out is our puzzler, this year about a lonely O star:

An overexposed star in a PanSTARRS field with an arrow plotted over it.

Since this star must have formed very (by astronomical standards) recently, it should still be in its nursery, something like a nebula – but it clearly is not. It's a runaway. But from what?

Contrary to last year, we will not accept remote entries, sorry – but you're welcome to still try your hand even if you are not in Berlin. Also, if you like the format, there's quite a few puzzlers from previous years to play with.

I have just (11:30) revealed the first hint towards our sample solution:

We recommend solving this puzzler using Aladin. There, you can look for services serving, e.g., the Gaia DR3 data in the little “select” box in in the lower left corner. Shameless plug: Try dr3lite.

If you are on-site: drop by our booth. If not: we will post updates – in particular on the puzzler – here.

Followup (2023-09-13)

At yesterday's afternoon coffee break, we gave the following additional hint:

To plot proper motions for catalogue objects in Aladin, try the Create a filter… entry in the Catalog menu.

And this morning, we added:

If you found Gaia DR3, you can also find editions of the NGC catalog (shameless plug: openngc). These are small enough for a plain SELECT * FROM….

Followup (2023-09-14)

The last puzzler hint is:

Aladin's dist tool comes in handy when you want to do quick measurements on the sky. If you are in Berlin, you still have until 16:00 today to hand in your solution.

However, the puzzler should not prevent you from attending our splinter meeting on e-science and the Virtual Observatory, where I will give an overview over the state of ADQLs in arrays. Regular readers of this blog will remember my previous treatment of the topic, but this time the queries will be about time series.

Followup (2023-09-14)

Well, the prize is drawn. This time, it went to a team from Marburg:

Two persons holding a large towel with an astronomical image printed on it, in the background a big screen with the Aladin VO client on it.

As promised, here's our solution using Aladin. But one of the nice things about the VO is that you get to choose your tools. One participant using pyVO was kind enough to let us publish their solution using pyVO, too: Thanks to everyone who particpated!