TNS Newsfeed

Here we will notify about new features, modifications, open issues, and any general news and remarks...


Following requests from the community, we now index (create official ADS bibcode for) all classification reports submitted to the TNS, not only for the "formal classifier" (the first classification made public).

This is useful especially for those cases where the first classification is later realized to be incorrect/uncertain, or either there is a true dilemma about the nature of an event, and it is necessary to be able to officially cite other reported classifications.

The bibcode for all classifications of an object is now shown in the last column (ADS Bibcode) of the Classification Reports sub-table on the Search/Object pages, linking to the ADS.

(For the formal classification report, the ADS bibcode also appears on the "Classification Certificate", as before.)

We've also created and updated on the ADS the indexes for all relevant past classification reports, from 2016 until now. All backlog ADS indexes can be reviewed here.

Do let us know if you encounter anything suspicious or if an entry you're looking for is missing. 


As of March 2020 the TNS serves as the official name server and hub for distribution of FRB events. At the request of this community, the TNS now operates two engines for designation of names, the original 'YYYYabc' (currently serving AT/SN), and now also 'YYYYMMDDabc' for FRBs (and potential future communities requiring such a format). New pages and processes have been deployed, enabling the reporting, distribution and querying of FRB events using both interactive forms and APIs.

Please see AstroNote 2020-70 for additional details on the major newly added components and functionalities.


In order to adapt the TNS for both the present and future needs, and in particular to the activity of transient brokers as significant sources that report discoveries of transients that are observed and publicly released by the observing surveys/facilities, we have deployed today - Dec 1st, 2019 - the adjustments to the handling of the “discovery group/s”, by introducing instead two distinct group identifications: the Reporting group and the Discovery Data Source group.

The changes affect the AT Report JSON/TSV formats (and clearly the AT Report Form), the search page, the object page, the discovery certificate and the statistics pages.

Please refer to AstroNote 2019-136 for additional clarifications on the essence of the revised treatments.

As mentioned, even if you did not revise your JSONs to the new format, your AT reports should not fail until Jan 31st, 2020.

However, if sending AT Reports via TSV, you should have the correct revised columns in place (reporting_group_id, discovery_data_source_id - instead of the single groupid).



On the Search API, it is now possible to explicitly specify if we require exact matches or LIKE '...%' for both the objname and internal_name.

The default values are "0" - for non-exact matches. Note that any specified prefix (AT/SN...) is ignored, and we relate to only the unique objname.

  "ra": "",
  "dec": "",
  "radius": "",
  "units": "",
  "objname": "",
  "objname_exact_match": 0,
  "internal_name": "",
  "internal_name_exact_match": 0,
  "public_timestamp": ""

For the Get API, the reply now includes a new internal_names entry that lists (csv) all existing internal names of the object, where the first internal_name is that of the official discovery report.

The existing internal_name entry remains as is for backward compatability.

So, e.g., for 2018ibb, we get the following entries:

      "internal_name": "ATLAS18unu",
      "internal_names": "ATLAS18unu, ZTF18acenqto, PS19crg, Gaia19cvo",



We deployed today GUI improvements, also w.r.t. mobile behaviour, on the following pages:

  • AT / Classification Report Forms
  • Search page
  • AstroNotes main page
  • Add AstroNote form

We'll appreciate to receive feedback if any additional revisions/improvements are required.



When creating a new AstroNote (Add AstroNote), it is now possible to assign up to 3 additional editors (registered TNS users), who will also be able to edit the draft AstroNote, besides the person who created the AstroNote.

This is especially useful when an AstroNote is submitted on behalf of a survey/group, and whenever its relevant for additional people to be able to update and release the Note.

The specification of the additional editors is not done on the level of a template definition but when adding (creating) a new AstroNote.

The editors fields are auto-complete on the first/last names.


In case a correction has to be performed for a submitted AT report (in most cases its the Internal Name or the Source Group):

If being the sender of an AT-report, or either an owner of the relevant Group/Bot, it is possible to click on the AT-rep id (in the AT reports sub-table) for updating whichever of the following AT-rep details:

  • The Reporters (authors list),
  • Source group,
  • Internal name,
  • Host name,
  • Host redshift,
  • The requested proprietary period (if a proprietary report).


A new query parameter was added to the Search page, at the top of the page (above the Obj. Name field): Reported Within the Last X Days/Months/Years.

So that the loading of the search page will not increase over time (as objects continue to accumulate), the default value of this parameter is set to 1 Month.

If willing to perform queries without any limitation on the discovery date range, this field can just be cleared (left empty) or set to 0 (zero).


Revision of the treatment of object coordinates (astrometric accuracies) was deployed on 2019-06-23 on the TNS.

Currently 9 groups have a defined astrometric accuracy (that is below the default value of 5 arcsec), and these are now shown on the Groups page.

Coordinates were updated backwards for a total of 3157 objects, not affecting the actual objects and existing AT reports, and without any merging or splitting of objects.

Please refer to AstroNote 2019-37 for details.


We have deployed several additional updates and functionalities on the AstroNotes.

  • Following requests for displaying additional meaningful text in the email notifications on AstroNotes, we've added a new Abstract field where it is possible to provide a summary of the AstroNote and emphasize/point to its highlights.

The Abstract will be displayed in the AstroNotes email notifications and will also be officially indexed on the ADS as part of the AstroNotes entries.
For it to be properly displayed in the emails, it should contain only simple text (no HTML tags etc...), and it is limited to 1000 characters.

  • Another revision is related to the reporting/displaying of the object properties in the Related Objects table.

When inserting a TNS object in the Related Objects table, its main properties are injected to the table (RA, DEC, Type, Redshift), and those fields are now editable. 
Note that updating those fields does not replace a formal Discovery or Classification report, but these denote what has been reported in the AstroNote itself. 
On the AstroNote page (of a specific AstroNote), those fields will be displayed as the "Reported" properties, and by clicking the "Show current TNS values" above the table, it is also possible to show what are the actual current values on the TNS. 
Reported values that differ from the current TNS values are highlighted in red.

Please have a look on the help page for additional explanations/clarifications.