Konkoly Observatory                                                 Information Bulletin on Variable Stars

Experimental Features of the electronic IBVS

The Information Bulletin on Variable Stars (IBVS) is a journal of the Commissions 27 and 42 of the IAU. It is available in electronic form: the full archive material has been digitized and converted to text files, and the modern issues are produced digitally.

IBVS has amassed a large amount of specific information, including figures, data files and tables. And there is more to come: new surveys produce and publish numerous figures and data files. Better, more specific searching facilities are needed, and the operation of the electronic journal is expected to be extended with database-like features.

IBVS will be enabled to communicate with other astronomical services via Virtual Observatory methods.

The use of Aladin (CDS) to display photometric sequences from IBVS papers

Some of the tables in the holdings of IBVS are in the text of papers (stored in ASCII text files for old issues and LaTeX for the newer), others are available only electronically as ASCII text data files.

A small part of these tables contain photometric sequences in the fields of variable stars, mostly measured by B. Skiff and A. Henden. The older tables are usually smaller, the newer ones might contain more than thousand stars.

IBVS would need a tool to visualize those sequences. The idea is to use the Aladin sky atlas provided by the CDS, Strasbourg.

The Aladin links from IBVS provide a new way of linking third party services from journals. It is a more complex interaction than providing a link to a Simbad entry (object link) or to an ADS entry (reference link). This link directs the reader's browser to the Aladin server, and instructs Aladin to download a table from the IBVS server, displaying it as an overlay on the default DSS image.

The Aladin server requires the data supplied in a standard format. IBVS will provide VOTable XML files for Aladin. However, authors can not be expected presently to supply their data in XML - they do it in ASCII text, using a simple syntax. These files (equipped with UCDs by the IBVS staff) will be converted on-the-fly using a lightweight Perl script (written by A. Srágli). The VOTable will be served to queries by a CGI program.

The authors of a paper publishing a photometric sequence (or the Editors) might include an Aladin link using a simple LaTeX macro requiring no more than the table filename as an argument.

András Holl

Thu Feb 26 2004


1.) IBVS 3967 (Skiff, 1993)

- The paper - The data in text - The data in VOTable - The Aladin map with the sequence -

2.) IBVS 5488 (Price et al., 2003; sequence by Henden)

- The paper - The data in text - The data in VOTable - The Aladin map with the sequence -