AstroGrid Version 1.0
AstroGrid V1.0 is the first public release of the UK's Virtual Observatory.
Here we describe this release and how to use it to do science.
This is a preliminary release - the system is not yet fully documented, and has some known bugs. However it is useful for science already and so we encourage astronomers register, use the system, and provide us their feedback.
What is AstroGrid ?
AstroGrid is a Virtual Observatory (VO), which can broadly be defined as
collection of interoperating astrophysical
data archives and software tools accessible through the internet.
A variety of tasks can be done by a VO, but typical usage will include
sending queries to astronomical datasets, retrieving files from
datasets and operating on them. A VO is particularly useful for
comparison and integration of data from diverse sources,
for example in multiwavelength studies.
It also allows access to and manipulation of large datasets.
What can I do with AstroGrid V1.0?
With this release of AstroGrid, there are two levels of usage of the system:
1. AstroGrid Science Services
AG Science Services currently available are the
and the Solar Movie Maker
Science Services have a simple interface and are very easy
to use. If you are a first time user, it is recommended that you try
these out first to familiarise yourself with the AstroGrid portal.
A third AG Science Service, the Colour Cutter
, is being developed.
2. User-defined workflows
This is a more advanced type of usage which allows users to
develop their own workflows to access datasets and perform
complex operations on data.
Typical steps needed to build user-defined workflows
are described in this Overview
Accessing AstroGrid V1.0
AstroGrid V1.0 is accessed over the internet using a web browser.
You do not need to install any AstroGrid software on your computer.
However you do need an Astrogrid compatible web browser: recommended
web browser is Mozilla >= 1.7.2 (Download Mozilla here
), Astrogrid will also work fine on the latest releases of I.E. (>=6.0) and Firefox (>=1.0.4).
Also, you will need to have Java Runtime Environment software (>= 1.4.2) installed
on your computer (Download JRE here
- choose: JRE 5.0 Update 3). If you think you might already have JRE installed, test it by clicking
here (JRE test)
: if you see a moving picture in the
page, you do have JRE. If not, or if you have an old version, install JRE and test it.
Note that JRE (>= 1.4.2) includes Java Webstart, which is software allowing you to launch applications from your web browser with a single click. AstroGrid uses Java Webstart to launch the Workbench (used to start the Science Services) and other applications such Aladin and Topcat.
Username, password and community
You will need an
AstroGrid 1.0 username-password-community set to be able to log into the Portal.
(Please remember that your user-account is for your own use only).
If you are a research astronomer, please email astrogrid_signup@starNOSPAM.le.ac.uk
to request a username.
In your registration email please include your name and academic department. (NB: this information will remain confidential to the AstroGrid
Log into an AstroGrid Portal
To use Astrogrid, go to the AstroGridPortals
page and select one of the portals listed under the User Portals
heading. The ones listed under Development Portals
will have restricted access but if you want to test the latest applications and components, please contact the relevant person.
At this stage there is a central AstroGrid
portal and we will be adding community portals as they are released, so please keep checking back.
Type in your username, password, and choose the relevant community from the drop-down menu. You're in...
Downloading AstroGrid Server Applications
The packages that comprise the AstroGrid V1.0 Release can be downloaded
- please contact KeithNoddle
for further details.
AstroGrid Bugzilla, Forum, and Wiki
In order to access the software systems, and fully particpate in providing feedback and so forth, new users should be aware of a number of AstroGrid
information resources, and signup appropriately to them. The good news is you only need to do the following once.
In order to edit these pages (attributed) you'll need to register on the AstroGrid
wiki - please use the page:
Once you have your wiki name such as NicholasWalton
, you can set some preferences, for instance allowing sensible edit box sizes, look at NicholasWalton
In order to add to this you'll need to register:
In order to add to this you'll need to register:
Contact and Help
If you have problems logging in or using the system please contact helpdesk@astrogridNOSPAM.org
For queries regarding science workflows, please contact helpdesk@astrogridNOSPAM.org
in the first instance, your email will then be passed to the appropriate person.
Release v1.0: The Smallprint
Release v1.0 is made available on a 'shared-risks' basis. Users are made aware that the software is provided as is, and that AstroGrid
accepts no liability for possible loss of data or work of the user through their use of the system.
User Data, MySpace and Backup Policy
User data is stored on the MySpace
system disk storage. This storage is not currently backed up in any way. Users are encouraged to make local copies of any data or results of importance
Data Protection Information
As is common with many online system, AstroGrid
logs some information about our users, in its server logs. We use this information from our server logs to learn about our visitors as a group, not about you as an individual. We also use the information to generate important statistics required by our funding sources. These records are kept only for the purpose of maintaining and improving services on our site, and are never shared with any other entity.
Feedback and Bug Reporting
Users are encouraged to report any bugs or errors in the system using the AstroGrid
bug ticketting system at http://www.astrogrid.org/bugzilla/