PESSTO visibility program

(provided Laurent Le Guillou)


This package is also available at the bottom of this page for download.

With this tool it is easy to produce the visibility plots for any PESSTO target in the marshall.

Like this one:

Targets may be provided either as:

  • ESO Observation Block (OB) file (*.obx) which will be parsed;

  • PESSTO standard stars/fields by name (e.g. gd71);

  • target names (should match the PESSTO Marshall names): for these targets the program will connect to the PESSTO Marshall database to get the object coordinates. This works with partial names, as long as there is only one match. For the moment only classify/follow-up queues are used to find the target.

  • targets specified with the following syntax: name=[ra,dec,epoch] or name=[ra,dec] (without spaces)

  • The target list could be a mix of these 4 options.

Examples of use:

visibility --date 2015-03-06 PS15ae_BG_RG.obx ASASSN-15bd

visibility *.obx

visibility SN2015D LSQ14an ASASSN-14ha

visibility SN2015D=[13:12:41.16,+12:36:01.8,2000] vma2 gd71

visibility --date 2015-02-24 RU152 gd71 OGLE-2015-SN-043 LSQ15ok L745a PSNJ1054 pg1047 PS15ae

Instructions to install it are provided in the package, and are repeated here.

* Requirements

You need a C compiler, a recent python installation (>= 2.7), the python-dev package (including Python.h), and matplotlib/pylab (> 1.3).

* Installation

1. unpack the tar file:

tar jxvf observability-0.6.tar.bz2

2. go into the package directory:

cd observability-0.6

3. configure the destination directory. Default is /usr/local:

./waf configure --prefix=PREFIX

for instance:

./waf configure --prefix=$HOME/local

4. Build the program:

./waf build

5. Install it.

./waf install

If you install in /usr/local, you may need to become superuser

to do so:

sudo ./waf install

6. If you installed the program in a non standard directory, you may need to configure your PATH and you PYTHONPATH


export PATH=<PREFIX>/bin:$PATH

export PYTHONPATH=<PREFIX>/lib/python2.7/site-packages:$PYTHONPATH

7. Test your installation:


visibility OGLE-2015-SN-043=[05:29:42.71,-72:26:23.7,2000]

visibility OGLE-2015-SN-043 SN2015D

8. Enjoy!

-- Laurent Le Guillou <>, 2015-02-26

Addendum (Daniele B. Malesani 2019/October/18, based on suggestion by Dave Young): you need to edit the file:


In lines 40 and 55, change the username from "laurent.le-guillou" to your own username (or any valid username), for example . Should you have changed the password, you need to edit that as well.