Newest observations

Contact information

Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

Frequently asked questions about Taivaanvahti

Receiving email notifications of new observations

The system supports subscribing to an email-based notification service of e.g. sightings of chosen phenomena just added to Taivaanvahti. The following questions are applicable to this service.

1.) I filled in the form, but have not received any observation notifications to my email. How come?

Are you sure there are no typos in the email address you filled in the form? Make sure you confirmed your subscription by clicking the link in the confirmation email sent. There is always the possibility that no observations that match your criteria have been reported yet.

2.) I no longer wish to receive notifications via email. How do I cancel my subscription?

In the notification emails you’ve received, there is an unsubscribe-link pertaining to that subscription. To cancel several subscriptions, they must be individually unsubscribed. You can also visit the notification subscription page and unsubscribe there by leaving your email address. Please note that you also need to confirm your unsubscription operation by clicking a link sent to your email.

3.) I have subscribed to observation notifications, but my email address has changed

Cancel all individual subscriptions in your old email. Then resubscribe them to your new email address.        

Using Taivaanvahti with mobile devices

1.) iPad
Adding pictures to an observation to be submitted to Taivaanvahti may be impossible, if using a device with archaic iOS versions. Some old operating system versions did not grant the user access to the file system of the device. Use iOS6 or newer to facilitate including images in your submissions.

2.) Other mobile devices
It is usually possible to browse and submit observations using smartphone browsers. However, the Taivaanvahti system does not have a systematic and universal support for all mobile devices. If the browser on the smartphone does not support all JavaScript-features, some functions of Taivaanvahti may not work. If this is the case, using another browser may work.

3.) Mobile applications for Taivaanvahti
So far there are applications for browsing the content of Taivaanvahti for three mobile operating systems. Arto Oksanen has created an Android-app which is available for Android-phones and -devices. Sasken Finland has published a mobile client for Taivaanvahti for the Windows Phone-operating system. This mobile client can also be used to submit observations to Taivaanvahti. Kalle Vahlman has developed a Taivaanvahti observation browser for the SailfishOS operating system, available in Jolla Store.

Aurora hunters can submit observations using Pasi Vänttinen’s application Aurorae for Windows Phones.

More mobile applications for Taivaanvahti are welcome. If you are interested in creating one, or contributing to an existing project, please contact the Taivaanvahti admins at taivaanvahti(at)

Taivaanvahti open interfaces

Almost all of Taivaanvahti’s content can be read through open search interfaces. For applications that produce observations, there is a separate interface for submitting observations and comments available.

Data which is not accessible through interfaces: the observers’ contact information. An observer’s name is available only if they have given permission to show their name on the web.

Where do i report system malfunctions?
Please report system malfunctions by emailing taivaanvahti (ät)

Who are in the design team and moderators?
The Taivaanvahti moderators’ team consists of Emma Bruus (Chief Technical Officer, CTO), Matti Helin, Lauri Kangas, Janne Kari, Pekka Kokko, Panu Lahtinen, Jari Luomanen, Veikko Mäkelä, Juha Ojanperä, Esa Palmi, Marko Pekkola (Project Manager), Mikko Peussa, Jukka Ruoskanen, Markku Siljama, Tero Sipinen, Matias Takala, Toni Veikkolainen, Samuli Vuorinen, Leo Wikholm ja Jari Ylioja. The design team consists of the moderators, Ville Hinkkanen and Marko Riikonen.

Who has coded Taivaanvahti? ?
The implementation work was started with Mediasignal Communications Oy in 2011. From 2015 to 2018, Sasken Finland Oy has been responsible for the technical implementation and layout of the revised Taivaanvahti.
Significant portions of the program code has been written by Emma Bruus (observation locations, search interfaces, statistics search-functions, language support etc) and she is currently the technical architect and main developer of the system.    

How do I propose a new feature to the system?
Taivaanvahti is continuously under development. Changes to the system are implemented periodically, and you can influence these changes by sending your requests to the admins at taivaanvahti(ät) The most requested features are most likely to be implemented.

Whose picture is on the banner logo?
The top banner picture on Taivaanvahti is a processed composite of photos by three observers, used with their permission. They are Satu Juvonen, Antti Parkkari and Kari Pulkkinen. 

Which entity makes this service possible?

The Astronomical Association Ursa ry in Finland funds the annual operational costs of Taivaanvahti. We are grateful to all members of Ursa for making this possible. If you wish to contribute to the running of Taivaanvahti, you can do so by becoming a member of Ursa