British Astronomical Association
Supporting amateur astronomers since 1890

Secondary menu

Main menu

Home Forums Website News and Help
Terms of use

Update to member pages

42 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Update to member pages

On Wed 9 December, we will roll out a major upgrade to BAA member pages.

The new-look member pages, which will be renamed "member albums", will have greatly improved search facilities, better handling of large high-resolution images, and will also plate-solve images where possible.

To enable the upgrade to take place, we will start disabling some functions from 9am on Wednesday. You temporarily won't be able to upload new images, or leave comments.

We will hope to have the new system live by around 1pm, and from that time you'll be able to start uploading images again.

I will post further updates here once the upgrade is completed.

Robin Leadbeater's picture
Offline
Last seen: 44 min 54 sec ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 00:50
multiple images

The ability to upload multiple images against an observing report rather than having to construct a composite image would be useful eg

https://britastro.org/node/23284

Robin

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
The new image gallery software is able to do this

The new image gallery software is able to do this, but currently it is only permitted for gallery administrators (e.g. archivists uploading images on behalf of BAA sections) to associate multiple files with a single observation.

We can certainly consider rolling this out to all BAA members in due course, once we emerge from the immediate post-launch testing phase.

Robin Leadbeater's picture
Offline
Last seen: 44 min 54 sec ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 00:50
existing links

Will already published links to specific observations  still work?

Robin

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Existing links should continue to work

Existing links should continue to work. They will point to an archived version of your old member page content, with some features disabled - e.g. the ability to leave comments.

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
The new member albums are now live

The new member albums are now live. We had a few minor teething issues earlier today, but you should now be able to upload images using the new interface.

Martin Mobberley's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 09:02
Logging in query

One oddity that has emerged since the upgrade....If I try to log in using Microsoft Edge I just get Dominic's profile filling the page as if I am Dominic!!!! I can go no further..... HOWEVER, using Google Chrome I can log in as normal with no problem, as I have done to type this query...........

Martin

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
I screwed up

Martin,

I inadvertently set the log-in page to redirect to my profile at around 2pm, and it was like that until around 2.45pm. Which was a bit of a screw-up...

To make this more awkward, most web browsers cache web page redirections for around 24 hours. So, if you tried to log in with a particular browser while it was broken, you may continue to have trouble logging in for a little while.

In Firefox, you can fix this by going to History -> Clear recemt history.... If you delete your browser history from the past couple of hours, it'll forget about the erroneous redirect. Or, if you do nothing, it should fix itself by tomorrow.

Sorry about that,

Dominic

Martin Mobberley's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 09:02
Logging in query

OK Dominic, many thanks for confirming it wasn't me accidentally trying to hack your profile!

I will simply keep using Chrome for the BAA pages today and check with Edge again tomorrow.

I just succeeded in uploading an image so that all appears to work fine.

Martin

alanbthomas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 7 hours ago
Joined: 17/01/2019 - 11:49
upgrade

Congratulations, Dominic, on your improvements - a nerve-wracking process I expect.

One question. I notice that some of my images have been 'plate solved'. I don't speak that language, so what does it mean and why has it been done? (Sorry - that was two questions!)

Thanks

Alan

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Hi Alan,

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your kind words! Plate-solving refers to the process of looking at the pattern of stars in an image, and attempting to match it against a star catalogue in order to work out the celestial coordinates of the image. We use a piece of software called astrometry.net to do this. However, the software takes a few minutes to run, and newly uploaded observations join a queue to be processed, which means there is a delay between you uploading an image and the celestial coordinates appearing in the associated metadata.

When the plate-solver finds a match, you should see a panel to the right-hand side of your image with a tick-box "Enable overlay". This will overlay a star chart over the top of your image.

Best wishes,

Dominic

alanbthomas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 7 hours ago
Joined: 17/01/2019 - 11:49
Plate solving

Ah thanks, Dominic. That's brilliant. Well done!

Alan

djswan2002's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 20/04/2017 - 19:58
Addition of features

Superb - thanks Dominic for all your hard work.

meteorgw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 33 min 1 sec ago
Joined: 30/04/2014 - 12:10
Section archives

Now that the archives of the Deep Sky and Comet sections can be viewed from the same place, do we still need to send images to the sections as well as the member album?

Graham

nickjames's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 12/10/2013 - 18:16
Section observations

Hi Graham, I can't speak for other sections but as far as the Comet Section is concerned you should continue to submit images directly (info on how to do that is here). Once they've been checked the images will then appear in the Comet Section archive here, and through Dominic's coding magic, they will also appear in the new gallery. 

mike harlow's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 11 hours ago
Joined: 01/06/2014 - 22:25
Hyperlinks

Hi Dominic, Nice upgrade to the members pages, I've just uploaded an image to test out the new plate solving capability!

Is it still possible to add hyperlinks in the "About this image" text for each observation?  Also, changing my profile image has been a bit hit-and-miss but haven't tried again today yet so maybe that was just an issue yesterday.

Thanks, Mike

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Fixed!

Thanks for pointing this out, Mike. I had unintentionally removed the ability to add links to the descriptions of images (and comments too). The "link" button should now have reappeared.

Richard Miles's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 07/03/2014 - 16:09
Searchable access to archive images

Wow Dominic - What a transformation! Well done!

I couldn't believe it when I started playing with what is now searchable. Several tens of thousands of comet images for instance. I had been planning on researching Comet 29P coma morphologies over the years' of observations but have kept putting it off because of the laborious prospect. Now, in principle, anyone can trawl the Comet Section archive and get involved in that type of study. People may be willing to volunteer to measure images as part of a team effort since these image data are now available and downloadable to all members.

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Magnificent!

Thanks, Dominic, for this magnificent work.  It is a vast improvement!

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
3 oddities.

A few glitches. In another tab right now I have https://britastro.org/observations/user.php open. It shows me "Showing images 1 to 40 of 8972" rather than just my own uploaded images. Curiously enough, when I first went there after logging on it did as I expected.Although it is clear how to filter by object name, it is not at all apparent to me on how to search by username.

Next was an attempt to find my Barnard's star upload to see whether animated GIFs work. Setting the search to "Stars" and Library to "Member Images" resulted in a different set being displayed, some of which were tagged as stars. The majority (an image of the "Copernicus area" for instance) did not.  Adding "Barnard's Star" into the object box did not change the results found.

Logging out and logging in again fixed the first problem. I then went to the Barnard's Star image and found that the animated GIF now works perfectly.  Brilliant! However, the comment is now incorrect but if I try to remove it an error response is given

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Fixed!

Thanks for pointing these issues out, Paul.

* The issue with the page <https://britastro.org/observations/user.php> should now be fixed.

* Animated GIFs should work fine, though there is sometimes a lengthy processing time after you upload them. This sometimes means they may not appear straight away. Normally this is a few seconds, but in one extreme case (with many frames) I've seen a processing time of two minutes.

* I received an error report from the issue you had with the comment editor, and I think this should now be resolved. The problem was caused by your comment being over 256 characters, which should have been fine, but my code couldn't handle it... :-)

* There is indeed an issue with some images being erroneously tagged with the wrong objects. This is a feature of the migration process of images from the old system to the new, and should not affect new uploads. Basically, the old system did not tag which objects were in which images, and so I had to populate this information by searching through the metadata associated with images for the names of objects. In most cases this worked very well, but unfortunately "Copernicus" is both the name of a Moon crater and also the star 55-Cancri. Also, images of comet M3 (Atlas) are unfortunately also tagged with Messier 3. At some point, perhaps we'll find a volunteer who wants to go through and manually correct some of these mis-tagged images...

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
I seem to remember commenting

I seem to remember commenting on

https://britastro.org/observations/observation.php?id=20201122_230000_68...

and Martina responding to my comment.  Neither comments appear to have survived the transition to the new regime.

No big deal but perhaps it is indicative of something that might be?

OTOH, perhaps advancing senility has damaged my memory.

Fossil Light's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 16/02/2017 - 20:24
M81 image

I commented on that same image by Martina and liked it too but that info has gone too. As Paul says might be indicative of other missing info. Great job otherwise Dominic.

But will animated Giffs work now??

Martin

Fossil Light's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 16/02/2017 - 20:24
M81 image

I commented on that same image by Martina and liked it too but that info has gone too. As Paul says might be indicative of other missing info. Great job otherwise Dominic.

But will animated Giffs work now??

Martin

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Animated GIFs

At least one animated GIF works.

https://britastro.org/observations/observation.php?id=20200911_170000_2e...

Works for me, anyway.

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Ooops

Sorry about this.

We did test that comments were migrating properly, but it seems some may have slipped through the net.

Unless we discover that this is a really widespread problem, it's probably going to be quite hard to fix retrospectively now, as we'd have to merge the old and new comments.

It was noticeable that in the previous system relatively few images attracted comments, and our hope is that by making comments more prominent in the new system, images will start attracting a bit more discussion.

A R Pratt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 04/03/2014 - 14:01
Observation Date and Time (UTC)

Hi Dominic,

I've just added a couple of images taken in September. I always enter my times as UTC, e.g. 2020 Sep 13 23:13:22 but it is listed as Observed 2020 Sep 14 00:13 UTC. That pesky BST !

The 'Technical details and background story' window doesn't have a spell checker. Could this be enabled?

Thanks,

     Alex.

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
utc

Seconded.

I hadn't noticed this effect, so have little idea whether it affects any of my uploads.

Can it be made explicit that times should always be entered in UTC, please, regardless of local time zone, daylight saving, etc, and the web site software never changes what is entered regardless what time it might be for itself? The old "you asked for it, you got it" approach.

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
Fixed

Dear Alex,

Thanks for this useful bug report.

* I've fixed the lack of spell checker. I hadn't realised there was a switch I needed to set to enable it.

* It was always our intention that all times should be entered, recorded and displayed in UTC. A mistake on my part meant an erroneous timezone conversion was happening in the display code. So, the observation you added earlier today was recorded correctly, but was being displayed incorrectly. This is now fixed.

* Unfortunately, this has opened a whole new can of worms. If you look back to observations you uploaded over the summer. They are now showing incorrect times. Upon further inspection, these times have been faithfully migrated from the old Drupal system. But the previous f***ing content management system was doing everything in local time, not UTC. Hence the timestamps from all our old data are wrong. Theoretically this could be fixed, but it would be a heck of a lot of work...

Best wishes,

Dominic

A R Pratt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 04/03/2014 - 14:01
Member Album dates and times

Hi Dominic,

Many thanks for your work on this significant project and for looking at all the issues raised.

I'm happy to just move forward with new Album entries having correct timestamps and not worry about past entries. They're for presentation purposes only and the work submitted to Sections will be logged with the correct dates and times.

Cheers,

     Alex.

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Another oddity

The sky map feature is really nice!

But (you knew there would be a but, didn't you) it doesn't work as I expected. In particular, there is only one image noted as being in Sculptor, and that is not mine of the globular NGC288.

Fair enough, the plate solve didn't work well enough.

However, discovering that Jupiter was to be found on the Pavo-Indus border came as quite a shock!

I took an image on the Tel-Ind border a while ago, but that is not the one indicated on the map. Indeed, it is not indicated at all.

I suspect that some hand annotation might be required. I will offer my services if desired.

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Zoomability?

Far too early to spend time on this now, but would it be possible to add a zoom in/out button to the sky maps, ala google maps?

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Map projection

A bit of a shame that images of UMi and Oct won't show ...

Xilman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
CMa

My image of Sirius B appears to be missing too.

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
1) Problems with the plate

1) Problems with the plate solver

We're aware that the plate-solving software is producing a high rate of false matches currently.

I'm surprised by this, as we're using <astrometry.net> with mostly default settings, and it is supposed to be quite robust against finding spurious matches. However, I've told it that we have no prior information about the field-of-view of each image, so it's searching for matching star patterns from a full range of length scales, from 30 degrees right down to 2 arcminutes. Consequently, the database of star patterns it's using is extremely large: about 30 GB of data.

My guess is that we're getting spurious matches because there are an awful lot of possible star patterns that an image can spuriously match when we're checking it against so many possibilities. The sky is quite large when you look at it with a 2 arcmin field-of-view.

As for finding Jupiter in Pavo - well, astrometry.net looks only at stars, and knows nothing about planets. This is no more surprising than some of the meteor spectra which are also getting erroneous fits. In general, I would not expect planetary images to get successfully plate-solved as they wouldn't contain enough stars.

At some point, it would be nice to improve this, and once we do so, it should be possible to retrospectively update the plate solutions of old images (at the cost of a few thousand hours of computation time). However, fiddling with this is likely to be a large project, and I'm not volunteering to do it imminently.

2) The sky map

Note that the sky map only shows 400 images at a time. You should see a message at the top along the lines of: "Showing latest 400 of 2568 observations. Older observations have been omitted to avoid excessive processing time." Note that it also cannot show images which haven't been plate solved, for obvious reasons.

You really don't want it to try to display thousands of images at the same time.

If your image isn't showing up, you probably need to make your search criteria more specific.

Robin Leadbeater's picture
Offline
Last seen: 44 min 54 sec ago
Joined: 05/03/2014 - 00:50
problems with plate solver

Could a short term solution be for  the submitter to have the option to disable plate solving where it is obviously incorrect or otherwise inappropriate

Cheers

Robin

Tim Haymes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 13/06/2014 - 21:53
Zoom In ?

I like the new facilities very much, but has the zoom in (enlarge) link been removed ? (Sorry if this have already been discussed)

Dominic Ford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 10/01/2013 - 12:42
This is still possible!

Tim,

I'm guessing you're referring to the image-download button, which used to open / download the original full-resolution image file. You can still do this.

If you right-click the image and select "Open image" (the exact wording will vary between browsers), your browser will open the full-resolution image.

Alternatively, underneath the image, in the section "Files associated with this observation", you can download the original image file onto your computer for viewing in your favourite graphics package.

Best wishes,

Dominic

Fossil Light's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 16/02/2017 - 20:24
POTW

Wanted to add a comment to POTW but after pressing submit. It said 'blank comment ignored' and nothing is showing.

Martin

Daryl's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 02/07/2015 - 21:35
Report missing

The observing reports I wrote on my members page seem to be missing? Or are they somewhere I haven’t discovered yet

alanbthomas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 7 hours ago
Joined: 17/01/2019 - 11:49
Update to Member Pages

Dominic

Keep up the good work. It is appreciated.

Alan

Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 17 min ago
Joined: 26/05/2020 - 16:43
Update to Member Pages

Your work Dominic has transformed my dynamic UGC of First Fireball of 2020 year..I am delighted ..Thank you very much indeed.  PS It is taking some time to change the CONTENT of  'Your name' but hope that will be achieved soon..Meanwhile Regards Stan Armstrong