Newest observations

Contact information

Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

For journalists

Taivaanvahti is an observation collection system maintained by the Astronomical Association Ursa in Finland. The system is an excellent source of information for those making news about current events in the sky.

Taivaanvahti facilitates citizen science by giving a platform for amateur astronomy enthusiasts to share their observations, share and evaluate possible locations for observation purposes, and to inform others and to be alerted of chance astronomical or atmospheric phenomena such as aurorae or halos.

Obtaining image publication permissions

The system database contains for each observation its reporter (observer) and their email address. The email addresses are not public information. To contact the observer of an observation, use the form below to send a private email which will be forwarded to the observer’s(reporter’s) email. The observation number is used to direct your message to the correct observer.

Typical cases for contacting the observer of a specific observation is request for interview, asking permission to use a certain image in a publication. The observers themselves hold all copyrights to the material they've submitted to Taivaanvahti, including photographs and pictures. Access to original, non-scaled images can be obtained only through the observers themselves. The observation number required by the contact form is found in the top right corner of the observation’s information page, and its permanent web address ends with the observation number.

Referring to Taivaanvahti as source of information?

The recommended source reference is either "Ursa's Taivaanvahti" or "Taivaanvahti observation service maintained by Ursa Astronomical Association".

May we use the observation maps?

We are sorry but we can't give permission to use observation maps, since the background map's IPR's are owned by Google. Map visualization can however be done by using an external map layer and extracting data to it by using open Taivaanvahti data APIs (please contact administration for support). The map-icons are freely usable for this purpose, although Taivaanvahti must be credited as source of data and icons.

Linking to the observations of a certain phenomenon

If you need on a web article/page a link to a set of search results that are kept up to date, use the search function on the left of the web page. The search function creates a web address on the browser’s address bar which is a permanent link to the results of this search. (Note that ‘up to date’ here means only including later submissions that occurred during the time period specified in the search, but were not yet in the database, not all observations that occurred up to the time of clicking the link.)

To get the best information on what is happening in the sky right now

Do searches in the observation list or images and stories-view or on the map. The News-section on the front page may not always update fast enough to catch the latest developments, due to being maintained by a group of volunteer administrators.

Taivaanvahti as an observation collection system

The design and implementation of the system is based on work done by several voluntary active observers within the Ursa community. Many of them are working in the areas of research, IT, or earth sciences. Since the implementation on 2011, and up to 2017, the system has been developed by both Mediasignal Communications and Sasken Finland Oy.  The current system version is developed by data architect Emma Bruus.