By filling out this form you can send an observation about different kinds of objects within our solar system, like Sun, Moon, planets and asteroids. All objects within the observation program are listed in the drop-down menu below.

Do you have an image attached?
An image is mandatory element for solar system observations. If you don't have a camera, a hand-drawn image is also ok. Only observations about comets, meteor showers and satellites can sometimes be accepted without an attached image.

Observation start

When did you see or photograph this phenomenon?

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    Please enter here the date and time when you first saw the phenomenon in the sky. The date can also be chosen from the calendar icon next to this. The date and time should be given according to the local time of the observation location.

    If you are not sure of the time you saw the phenomenon, we ask you to give us the time you think is the most likely, meaning your so called best guess. In this case, we would like you to tell more about the uncertainty surrounding the time in the free-form text -field meaning the observation strory.

    If your observation is about a celestial body taken with long exposure, which may have been even been exposed on several different nights, please give us the latest time of exposure.

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    Observation starts
    —  
    Observation ends
  • If the phenomenon lasted only a short while (a couple of minutes or so), giving just the start time is ok.
  • Quick selects
    Phenomenon still visible • was visible 30 min ago • was visible 1 h ago
Observation location

Where were you when you observerd the phenomenon?

  • Please choose your observation site
    by clicking the right location on the map.

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    When you click the map with your mouse, the system will automatically pick the coordinates of the place you have chosen and on land usually also the name of the place in question. 

    If your first click of the map hit the wrong place, you can move the location marker by clicking the map again. Zooming in on the map with the slider in the left-hand corner of the map or the mouse scroll wheel helps with making the placing more accurate.

    If for some reason you are not willing to give us your observation location too precisely, you can place the observation location´s icon on the map for example in the center of the nearest small populated area. Normally an accuracy of 1-3 kilometers is enough to inform about the observation place. 

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    We hope our users will first give us the observation location within 1-3 kilometers of accuracy, if possible, by clicking the right spot on the map. In this case, the observation location will automatically appear below within the accuracy of the municipality, if the observation was made on Finnish grounds.

    Google maps won´t recognize all foreign observation locations nor observations made at sea. In these cases we would like for you to type the observation location here. 

    You can also, instead of clicking the map directly, type out the observation location´s name within the municipality´s accuracy in the ""City/municipality"" -box. In that case, the system will place your observation in a random place in the center of the municipality in question. Regarding multiple observations, this is also a good enough precision.

    If you don´t know, which municipality your observation was made in, like for example, you were in a moving vehicle, we would like you to describe the location in free form. For example ""Between Kouvola and Mikkeli"" or ""In an airplane above the Baltic sea"".

    If you marked your location on the map, this information will be filled in automatically

Contact info
  • + Add an observer info

    You can also mention other observers of your observation, if they are in the same observation location, have agreed to a shared observation and you announce their real names and email addresses.Only you as the main observer have the right to edit the observation and only you hold the copyright of the possible photos or drawn illustrations.

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    Please give your actual name in the form of your first and last name. Observations can´t be accepted if only initials or an incomplete name are given (e.g. K. Virtanen). If you don´t want your name to be visible on the internet in relation to your observation, you can remove the checkmark from the spot asking this. The spot is displayed on the next line.


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    Your aforementioned name will not be visible on the internet in relation to your observation and possible images, if you remove the checkmark here. If you remove the checkmark, on the observation´s name -field online will read ""Anynomous"". In that case your identity will remain only in Ursa´s and the phenomenon´s researchers´ knowledge. 

    Although we hope, that as many observer as possible allows their name to be displayed in relation to their observation and possible images. This way we can abide by the tradition of scientific observation which is seen as more important.


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    The email address should be in a working basic form without unnecessary texts, spaces or brackets. For example: james.t.kirk@gfail.com

    If you want to later fill in, fix something about or completely delete your observation, it is possible using the editing link. The editing link will be sent to the email address you have given us. Without a working email address the link won´t arrive to you.

  • Why do we ask for contact information?

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    Your contact information will not be publicly visible nor will it be given away for commercial purposes.

    For research purposes: in case of especially valuable observations, it is important, that researchers or Ursa can contact the observer to ask more details or pictures or to thank the observer for the valuable input.

    You can later search for your observations using your own email address in system´s search bar. It is easier to search for observations by using your email address instead of you name, because some observers may share the same name with you.   

    Many observers have wished for an option to later modify their observations. This is possible only by using the editing link sent to the email address you gave us. Without a working email address the link won´t reach you. 

Description
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    Choose the observed target from the list.

    With detailed image of the planet, choose the name of the planet.

    With wide-angle image of the planet, typically with horizon, choose "landscape image of a planet".


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    Telescopic comet

    Kaukoputkella näkyvä komeetta

     

    Binocular comet

    Kiikarikomeetta

     

    Comet with naked eye coma

    Komeetan pää paljain silmin

     

    Faint naked-eye comet

    Paljain silmin himmeä pyrstötähti

     

    Bright naked-eye comet

    Paljain silmin kirkas pyrstötähti

     

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    You can specify the target identification by name or designation, if you know that. For examble deep sky objects have official letter and number coded designations and proper names.

    Prefer the offcial name of the target. With lunar features or occulted object use the target name. If there is a conjunction of celestial bodies, give their names (brightest first), eg. "Moon and Venus".

    Comet names are listed on the webpages of IAU Minor Planet Center.

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    We ask that you evaluate the phenomenon you have observed.

    Was the phenomenon weak or very faintly visible in the sky? Or was it clear or even very bright?

    If the most relevant content of the observation is a photograph, we hope that you will use the classification as follows:

    I: The subject is difficult to distinguish from the image.

    II: The subject is dimmed and / or small in the image.

    III: The subject is moderately visible in the image.

    IV: The subject is relatively extensively and / or brightly displayed in the image.



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    Here you can type the name of the astronomical association which you are a member of. If you belong to more than one association, we ask you to give us the name of the association which is the most important to you havaintotoiminnassa.  

    The largest astronomical association in Finland, The astronomical association Ursa ry with its good 15 000 members is divided into area specific teams here. The teams are ""Ursa (Southern Finland)"", ""Ursa (Helsinki)"", ""Ursa (Eastern Finland)"", ""Ursa (Western Finland)"" and ""Ursa (Northern Finland)"". The Oulu and Lapland provinces belong to the Northern Finland team´s area. All municipalities in the metropolitan area, except Helsinki, are also part of the Southern Finland team´s area.      


  • We hope that you will tell about seeing the phenomenon in free form. If you are busy, even a one or two sentence long description of the phenomenon will help to understand, what you saw. (In case you want to input technical information, they have their own place)

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    Here you can tell in free form about the phenomenon and seeing it. You have a room of 1200 characters for that. For example how you spotted the phenomenon? How did it look like? (etc).

    If you are not already familiar with celestial bodies/atmospheric phenomena, please try to describe the phenomenon diversely.  

    In case you are a specialist in the field we hope you will write in a way that the observation story is at least for the most part comprehensible to new people interested about the subject. It is recommended to avoid terms, slang and abbreviations that only few can understand.  

    If you decide to write an observation story with at least a few sentences of length here and attach at least one image to your observation, the observation will be published on the observation system´s Images and stories page.

    characters left

  • You can attach 1-8 images or videos of the phenomenon (jpg, gif, png or mp4). The system will not receive files containing more than 50 megabytes. We hope, that you favor images or videos with no more than 15 Mb.

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    You can attach at most 8 images. We hope you will attach several images only if they showcase the different sides or stages of the phenomenon or otherwise fulfill eachother. If your images are practically fully identical, we ask you to only attach the best photo to your observation.

    The system automatically shows large images in a size where the longest side of the image (either horizontal or vertical) is 1000 pixels long.  

    The size limit of files is 50 megabytes. Taivaanvahti will not accept larger images. It is recommended to favor pictures that are at most the size of 15 Mb.

    The allowed image file formats are jpg, jpeg, gif ja png. The system will not accept for example tif images or pdf files.

  • Main image









  • info

    By crossing this off you´re asking the administration´s experts to inspect the observation´s phenomenon identifications particularly carefully and/or critically before the observation is published.

    In case something problematic is detected regarding the identifications, the observation won´t be published before the administration has fixed the identifications and/or you have been contacted.   

Additional information

  • If you observed the Sun, the sunspot number describes the solar activity.

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    The sunspot number describes the solar activity. It is defined as 10 x visible sunspot groups on the Sun + single sunspots in these groups.

    For example, assuming there are three sunspot groups on the Sun which include in total 15 spots. The sunspot number is in that case 10 x 3 + 15 = 45.


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    Seeing is a unit describing the stability of the atmosphere. As sharper the target is visible as better is the seeing. Estimation of the seeing is necessary only with deep sky or solar system object, eg, if you observed a galaxy or a planet with a telescope and made a sketch. 

    The scale of estimation is 1-5, where 1 is the best and 5 is the worst. In pulldown menu the tradional numeric values are described with words for helping their use.


  • Estimate the brightness, if it is meaningful to this target.

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    The brightness estimation is essential, especially for targets with varying brightness.  But if you do not see the brightness estimation meaningful, it is not necessary to do it.

    The brightness is given as a magnitude value. You can compare the brightness of the target to the magnitudes of the known stars.

    Note, that the brightness of surface object can not be compared to the point source, but comparison star have to defocus as a spot sized of surface target.


  • Numeric value

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    Estimate the tail lenght of comet by degrees, arc minutes of arc seconds. The used unit can be choosen from the pulldown menu beside the field.

    The apparent diameter of the Moon is a half of (0.5) degree. The fist of the fully streched out hand is ca. 8 degrees, and open hand with aparted fingers from the tip of the thumb to the little finger is ca. 20 degrees.

    You can also measure the tail lenght with the star map or star map software afterwards, if you remembed the celestial target, where the tail extended.


    Measurement unit

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    Choose the unit, which used in estimation, from the pulldown menu. It can be degrees, arc minutes or ac seconds.


  • Numeric value

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    Estimate the diameter of the coma.  

    Arc minute is a 60th of degree. The apparent diameter of the Moon is 30 arc minutes.

    You can measure the diameter with a star map or a star map software afterwards, if you compared the diameter with the distancies of the identified stars nearby and and wrote it down.


    Unit of measurement

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    Choose the unit used in estimation from the pulldown menu. It can be degrees, arc minutes or arc seconds.


You can describe your observation equipment or other technical details here.

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If you want to, you can specify the observation equipmet or  phototechnical/processing information here. For that, you have 1200 characters at your disposal.

A telescope description can be stated for example like this: 127 mm reflecting telescope of 1300 mm focal length.

The photo information can be stated for example like this: Camera brand, 50 mm, f/2,8, ISO 100.



If you like, you can shortly descripe the weather and observation conditions.

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If you like, you can shortly descripe the weather and observation conditions.


By sending in this observation I confirm, that I've read and understood the the observation system's privacy policy.
Fields marked with star (*) must be given before sending in the information.