AstroNotes guidelines

Guidelines for submitting ePESSTO+ AstroNotes : co-authorship and discovery credits 

It is the responsibility of the observers and data reducers to submit an AstroNote within 24 hours of each observing night

This AstroNote should list all new classifications that were made during the night.

Each AstroNote can follow this generic outline, filling in the table of classifications as appropriate. Smartt et al. 2015, A&A, 579, 40 with fuller details on the survey.

For "Disc. source" use one of  PS1, ATLAS, ASASSN, OGLE, GAIA, ZTF etc a different survey, or TNS, as appropriate.

ePESSTO+ has its own AstroNote template, please when signed in on the TNS, go to AstroNotes and select 'My Templates', the ePESSTO+ template will be available to everyone that is registered on the TNS and belonging to the ePESSTO+ group.

To join such a group, go to 'GROUPS' on the top of the TNS webpage and select ePESSTO+ (entry 63) and ask to join

Don't forget to replace the OBS MONTH and OBS DAY values ..

And don't forget the title should be from April 24th 2019 onwards 

Template instructions are reported in the template and here:


           Source (feeding survey/s), Phase.

           If necessary, add additional required columns.


Important, miscellaneous information:

As of July 2016, the ‘Survey Name’ column should refer to the survey name and the IAU-designated name for the object should be in the table as shown. This is to ensure the survey contributors are happy with their inputs and that it is easy to tell the source. It also ensures that the IAU name is propagated and this is similar as is being adopted in other ATels/AstroNotes by PTF, ASASSN, ATLAS etc.  

For classified SNe, this should start with ’SN’, while for other classified transients such as variable stars etc. the ‘AT’ prefix should be used. 

The discovery survey name should always be used (even if we have selected it due to ATLAS lightcurve information). 

In particular, ASASSN only gives ASASSN names to those that they register first on the TNS (i.e. are ASASSN discoveries), so if ASASSN name exists, use that (you can always check on the TNS link).

If the survey name is long e.g. CSS or MASTER then it's OK to abbreviate the long name in the "Survey name column" and then put the long, full name in the table notes. 

When you are submitting the AstroNote, make sure that Ofer and Ilan (WISEREP) either have the data or will get it very soon after - we are advertising that the data are available in this AstroNote. In fact, it is a much better idea to send the data to WISEREP before starting to draft the AstroNote, that way everyone can easily see the spectra and help you with comments on the classifications. 

If you can't identify an object on an acquisition image and do not take a spectrum then apply the following rules. If it was not a publicly released target then do not add it to the AstroNote, but do record this information in the marshall. If it was a publicly released target (e.g. an AT from the IAU TNS page), then do record this information in the AstroNote, since it is useful for the community. 

If you think that the PESSTO observation was an incorrect identification and a spectrum was taken of the wrong object then do not add to the AstroNote, but do record this information in the marshall

If you only get host galaxy spectrum then do include the object in the AstroNote with a note that only host galaxy light visible

If the classification is uncertain, but there is signal from the transient, then do include this information in the AstroNote. It is fine to leave it as unknown, but ensure that AstroNote records that it has been observed, and that the data are publicly available. 

For the phase - either use the exact day that comes from the SNID or Gelato (or superfit) cross-match or use one of the following:

< –10

–10 to –8

–7 to –4 

–3 to +3 (or just "at max” which we will take to mean these days) 

+4 to +7 

+8 to +10 

+11 to +20 

> +20 (or “several weeks after max”)

These phases tie into the numbers we will be using in the ESO catalogue. 

In cases where ePESSTO+ classifies a ZTF object that has not been submitted to TNS (e.g. Lasair objects ingested into the Marshall only get a TNS name if other brokers report them to TNS), then one can choose "Other" in the Index/Cat field and then you can fill in the details of a non-TNS name.

Of course, if the object is a real transient/SN, then it may be that we will push a broker to report to TNS in order that the object gets a proper TNS name.

When reporting transient redshifts: 

For ALL objects, always specify clearly in the remarks if the redshift estimation is based on SNID or something else

Even when it's clear and the host galaxy redshift is filled in, one should explicitly write "Known host redshift"

IF the host redshift is known (e.g. value reported in NED), then this should override any spectral matching (e.g. SNID) redshift. In the case that the redshifts are significantly different (between the host and the best transient spectral match), then one should note this in the comments section

IF the transient/host redshift comes from narrow HII region emission lines in the transient spectrum, then this should be set as the redshift AND the origin of this redshift should noted in the comments, e.g. "Redshift from narrow host emission lines in the spectrum."

In general, one should report redshifts to - at most - two (SNID), two-three (know host), three (narrow emission lines) significant figures.

Always remember that even after the submission of an AstroNote, Ofer Yaron can correct/revise things, so feel free to ask him ( whenever needed.

What and when to submit    

1. We should report info on any object for which we have a spectrum, even if its stellar, AGN, or host galaxy dominated. Of course, info should also be reported and preserved in the Marshall. We should do this for every object we actually take a spectrum of. And these spectra should go to WISEREP, and Phase3. 

2. Even if the classification is ambiguous or not possible, the spectrum should be reported in the AstroNote. A simple description of the first spectrum should be provided. For example, blue featureless continuum objects are common and these should be reported as such. Additional information can be provided in the next AstroNote when a higher S/N spectrum is taken. But as a rule, always record the first spectrum taken and a qualitative description if classification is not possible. 

3. We should NOT report info in the AstroNote that private objects which were not in the public domain are invisible (if we don't go on to take a spectrum). Remember, such targets have never been publicly announced, therefore we should not make statements of the non-existence of unannounced objects. But it is essential that the observers/reducers record the info in the Marshall. 

4. If objects have been publicly announced (e.g. MASTER, PSN, CSS, PS1) and we then find they are not visible, then we should indeed report this info in the AstroNote. This is useful info to propagate to the community.  

AstroNote Authorship

1. ePESSTO+ observers at the telescope for that night,

2. ePESSTO+ data reducers for that night 

3. Target and alert team members on duty - those people who have been through the lists to help select the classification targets. You can see them on the marshall or on this page of the duty roster.

3. Other PESSTO/ePESSTO/ePESSTO+ members:  who have helped out with the classifications specifically of the objects reported, or provided other photometry or data for those objects. We very much encourage this interaction and addition  

These first two lists can be rotated around at the discretion of the observers and data reducers. 

Then the following :

4. The ePESSTO+ builders list (For all AstroNotes)  ePESSTO_Policies#TOC-ePESSTO-AstroNotes.  : J. Anderson (ESO), T. Müller Bravo (Southampton), T.-W. Chen (NCU), M. Gromadzki (Warsaw), C. Inserra (Cardiff), E. Kankare (Turku), M. Nicholl (QUB), O. Yaron (Weizmann), D. Young (QUB)

5. E. Zimmerman (Weizmann) will be the WISeREP person on duty and will do the data upload to WISeREP, and should be added to the AstroNote author list.  

6. Feeder survey lists

For (6), if a target from a given feeder survey is used (i.e. is listed under "Disc. source" in the AstroNote table) then the following people and acknowledgements should be added to the AstroNote:

ZTF: No co-authorship required. But add to the text: Targets were supplied by the Zwicky Transient Facility ZTF (Bellm et al. 2019 2019PASP..131a8002B) - data stream processed through the Lasair broker (Smith, Williams, Young et al. 2019 2019RNAAS...3a..26S), and by the ALeRCE broker (Forster et al. 2020 

Pan-STARRS: Add this to the AstroNote text "Targets were supplied by Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (see Chambers et al. 2016, arXiv:1612.05560, and "

 and  add the authors :  

S. J. Smartt (Oxford/QUB), K. W. Smith, D. R. Young, M. Fulton, S. Srivastav, M. Nicholl (QUB), K. C. Chambers, M. Huber, A. Schultz, T. de Boer, J. Bulger, J. Fairlamb, C.-C. Lin, T. Lowe, E. Magnier, P. Minguez, R. J. Wainscoat, H. Gao (IfA, Hawaii), A. Rest (STScI), C. Stubbs (Harvard)

Pan-STARRS (Young Supernova Experiment): Add this to the AstroNote text "Targets were supplied by the Young Supernova Experiment (Pan-STARRS - see Jones et al. 2021, 2021ApJ...908..143J)". But no further authors are required if the data come from YSE rather than the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients. 

ATLAS :  add this to the AstroNote text: "Targets were supplied by the ATLAS survey, see Smith et al. (2020, PASP, arXiv:2003.09052)".  And add the co-authors 

J. Tonry, L. Denneau, H. Weiland, A. Lawrence, R. Siverd (IfA, University of Hawaii), N. Erasmus, W. Koorts (South African Astronomical Observatory), A. Jordan, V. Suc (UAI, Obstech), S. J. Smartt (Oxford/QUB),  K. W. Smith, S. Srivastav, D. R. Young, M. Fulton, M. McCollum, T. Moore, M. Nicholl, J. Weston (QUB), L. Shingles (GSI/QUB), L. Rhodes (Oxford), J. Sommer (LMU/QUB), A. Rest (STScI), T.-W. Chen (NCU), C. Stubbs (Harvard) 

NOTE: If ATLAS or Pan-STARRS find an object but it is reported publicly by another survey but not reported to TNS by that survey (e.g. as is often the case with MASTER), then ATLAS or Pan-STARRS MUST report it to TNS.   We then report as normal in the AstroNote with AT name and our own PS or ATLAS name.  Then in the footnotes to the table we acknowledge: 

1. Discovered on YYYYMMDD as MASTER OT JRADEC, etc.  See ATel/AstroNote #nnnnn.

OGLE : L. Wyrzykowski,(Warsaw Observatory, Poland) and cite   "OGLE-IV Real-time Transient Search (Wyrzykowski et al., 2014 arxiv:1409.1095;"

DLT40 Survey: S. Wyatt (Arizona), D. Sand (Arizona), R. Amaro (Arizona), J. Andrews (Arizona), M. Lundquist (Arizona), S. Valenti (UC Davis), S. Yang (INAF-OAPd), D. E. Reichart, J. B. Haislip, V. Kouprianov (UNC)

6. Surveys which are not active anymore or are not feeding ePESSTO+:

SkyMapper: A. Moller, B. Tucker, B. Zhang, B. Schmidt (Australian National University) and cite Scalzo et al. ATel #5480. 

The HITS survey with DECam (Chilean collaboration) : F. Forster, J.C. Maureira, J. San Martin, G. Cabrera, Eduardo Vera (CMM), Mario Hamuy, S. Gonzalez-Gaitan, Lluis Galbany, Th. de Jaeger (DAS), Joseph Anderson (ESO), Giuliano Pignata (UNAB), and R. Chris Smith (CTIO)

GREAT :  T.-W. Chen (MPE) and cite Chen et al. 2018, ApJ, 867L, 31 

More details of GREAT project:

Note: Please add this sentence to the classification ATel:

"AT2018XXX was observed as part of the GREAT survey (Chen et al. 2018, ApJ, 867L, 31), having a black body temperature of T_BB  ~ XXX K obtained 

from the photometry taken on XX.XX.2018 with griz= XX,XX,XX,XX mag."

The magnitude information can be found in the marshall. 

La Silla Quest (LSQ): C. Baltay, N. Ellman, E. Hadjiyska, R. McKinnon, D. Rabinowitz, S. Rostami (Yale University), U. Feindt, M. Kowalski (Universitat Bonn), P. Nugent (LBL Berkeley) and cite Baltay et al. 2013, PASP, 125, 683

7. Acknowledging Public Surveys 

The following surveys release their data publicly and they are ingested into the marshal. Co-authorship of the AstroNotes is not required, but acknowledgement is, and the appropriate text and citations are : 

ASASSN:  add this. Targets are are from the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae ASAS-SN (see Shappee et al. 2014, ApJ, 788, 48 and

GAIA : add this to AstroNote text : We acknowledge ESA Gaia, DPAC and the Photometric Science Alerts Team ( or 

"targets are from the ESA Gaia Photometric Science Alerts Team and DPAC ("

Use either, depending on how you phrase the AstroNotes. 

GOTO: add this to AstroNote text: Targets are provided from the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO, see Dyer et al. 2020, SPIE, 11445;

CRTS : if targets come from CSS/MSS/SSS, which are surveys of the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey. Then add  "from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS; Drake et al. 2009, ApJ, 696, 870 ;" 

DES :  Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program (DES-SN) publishes its brighter (r ≲ 20) transient candidates. If these are classified then add "targets supplied by the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program (see Kessler et al. 2015, AJ, 150, 172 and

MASTER :  "targets supplied by MASTER (see ; Lipunov et al. 2004, AN, 325, 580).  MASTER do not routinely report their discoveries to TNS.  So see notes for Pan-STARRS and ATLAS above.

PTSS :  "targets supplied by PMO-Tsinghua Transient Survey (PTSS; 

8. Amateurs: 

Virtually all amateurs now submit their targets to the IAU Transient Name Server  (i.e. the object has an AT2016xxx name). You should add "targets were taken from the IAU TNS list (see ".  We let the TNS deal with the discovery and classification certificates. 

No co-authorship is required, now that we have this stable, and IAU recognised,  platform for discovery attribution. 

Observing ATLAS and Pan-STARRS targets with other facilities 

We encourage anyone within ePESSTO+ to use the information we supply in the ePESSTO+ marshall to classify and observe transients with other facilities than the NTT. If you do, please update the marshall with the information and classify the targets. If you are submitting an ATel then use the following template (roughly, you can adjust to suit your specific needs) 

Observations of ATLAS18xxx/AT2018yyy with "some facility"

Authors : 

You as first authors + 

K. W. Smith, S. J. Smartt, O. McBrien, S. Srivastav, D. R. Young (QUB), D. E. Wright (Univ. of Minnesota), J. Tonry,  L. Denneau, A. Heinze, H. Weiland, H. Flewelling (IfA, Univ. of Hawaii),  B. Stalder (LSST), A. Rest (STScI)

As part of the broad ePESSTO+ ( collaboration we observed  ATLAS1yyy/AT2017yyy with ……

Targets were supplied by the ATLAS survey, see Tonry et al. (2011, PASP, 123, 58) 

and Tonry et al. (ATel #8680), and additional details can be obtained from the IAU Transient Name Server.

Details here 

Observations of PS18xxx/AT2018yyy with "some facility"

Authors : 

You as first authors + 

S. J. Smartt, K. W. Smith, O. McBrien, S. Srivastav, D. R. Young (QUB), D. E. Wright (Univ. of Minnesota), K. C. Chambers, T. de Boer, J. Bulger, J. Fairlamb, M. Huber, C.-C. Lin, T. Lowe, E. Magnier, A. Schultz, R. J. Wainscoat, M. Willman (IfA, Univ. of Hawaii)

As part of the broad ePESSTO+ ( collaboration we observed  ATLAS1yyy/AT2017yyy with ……

Targets were supplied by the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients (see Chambers et al. 2016, arXiv:1612.05560, and Additional details can be obtained from the IAU Transient Name Server.

Details here .....