BAAVSS Guide to Investigating Warning and Error Messages from Loading Observations

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Contents

Overview.. 1

How to Resolve Some Common Warnings and Errors. 2

Unrecognised or New Stars. 2

Sequence Warning. 2

Mag Check Warnings and Errors. 4

 

Overview

Whenever you upload, manually enter, or edit observations, the data goes through a series of checks to ensure the values are valid, and where possible that they are consistent with expectations.

The checks are split into two types:

·         Errors

o   These will prevent the data from being loaded or changed.

·         Warnings

o   The data will still be loaded or changed, but the warnings should be reviewed to make sure there are no unexpected problems with the observation.

The checks happen in two main phases:

·         Initial checks on individual data items.

o   For example if a number is expected for this field then is it a number.

o   At this point any warning or error messages are reported as row numbers, since the data has not yet been assembled into an observation record.

·         Checks once the data has been assembled into an observation record.

o   For example does the UT match the Julian Date.

o   Here warning and error messages are reported against observation numbers, since the row number from original file no longer has a meaning at this point in the processing of your data.

If you experience any serious errors while uploading observations or using the BAAVSS web pages that you cannot resolve, then please contact the BAAVSS database secretary. Contact details can be found on the BAAVSS Online Database homepage, and on the back cover of the circular.

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How to Resolve Some Common Warnings and Errors

Below is a summary of some of the more frequent warning and error messages, and how to resolve them.

 

Unrecognised or New Stars

When you attempt to upload a star whose name is not already in the database, then that star will automatically be added to the database. However, a warning message will be displayed as follows:

                'star abc' was not found in the list of variable stars.

Please ensure this is not a typo as it will be added as a new variable star.

It is very important to check that you have not made a typing mistake in the name. You should also check that you have not used an unrecognised name for a star already in the database.

All new stars will be periodically reviewed by BAAVSS Officers, although this may take a few weeks. For example, if you use a new name for a star already in the database, then your observations will not be linked to the existing star, unless an Officer spots the connection between the stars and manually links them in the database.

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Sequence Warning

This warning is displayed when the sequence you have used is not recognised. A typical message would be:

                Sequence '26.02' not found in the database.

This could mean one of two things:

1.       The sequence does not exist in the database.

2.       The sequence does exist, but the name you have used is not recognised.

You can view a list of valid sequence names on the website by following these steps:

1.       Navigate to the following web page

a.       Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Versions and Alias Names

2.       Type in the “Object Id” or “Sequence Id” for the star of interest.

a.       Note stars can be known by many alias but the “Object Id” you need to type in is the primary name by which the star is known to the database.

b.      To check the “Object Id” navigate to the following web page:

                                                               i.      Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Star Alias Names

c.       Type in the star name in the “Object Alias” box.

d.      Click “Apply Filter”.

e.      If the star is in the database then the “Object Id” will be given in the column of that name.

3.       Click “Apply Filter”.

4.       The “Sequence Alias” column will give you the list of the sequence names for the star.

a.       The sequence versions are the unique sequences. There may be 1 or many sequence versions for a star as magnitudes get updated and stars added or dropped from the sequence.

It may also help to see the sequence, so you can tell whether you have the correct sequence alias by viewing the magnitudes

1.       Navigate to following web page:

a.       Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Data

2.       Select the star from the drop down list.

a.       Typing the first few letters of the “Object Id” will get you close to the star in the list.

3.       Press “Fetch Sequence”.

4.       All the difference sequences will be displayed in columns.

a.       At the top of each column is the primary alias (name) by which the sequence is known. This is the best name to use for the sequence, but there are usually other alias names setup. These can be reviewed by the above procedure.

If none of the sequences match your chart but you expect the chart to be present, for example if it is a BAAVSS chart, then please contact one of the BAAVSS officers. Contact details can be found on the BAAVSS website and are on the back cover of the circular.

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Mag Check Warnings and Errors

The observation loading software will attempt to verify the magnitude you supply from either the visual estimate, or from instrumental magnitudes if you provide them in a CCD file.

An error message will most frequently be generated because the magnitude you supplied does not match the magnitude that was calculated by the software. This can be for a number of reasons, and below are some suggested checks you can carry out.

·         Visual

o   Check for typos in the light estimate and magnitude that you entered.

o   Check your calculation and rounding.

§  Visual estimates should be rounded to 1 decimal place.

§  Round to the nearest 0.1 magnitudes, rounding “half up”, e.g.

·         1.05 rounds to 1.1

·         1.04 rounds to 1.0

o   Check your comparison stars.

§  The magnitudes within a sequence can be viewed from the web page:

·         Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Data

·         CCD

o   Check your file for any obvious problems, like 0 or close to 0 magnitudes, or blanks.

o   Check your comparison star magnitudes.

§  The magnitudes within a sequence can be viewed from the web page:

·         Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Data

Warnings will typically be for the following reasons.

·         The magnitude could not be calculated because the sequence could not be found.

o   Try looking up the sequence from the following web page:

§  Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Versions and Alias Names

·         The magnitude could not be calculated because one or more of the comparisons was not recognised.

o   Check your stars against the official sequence data in the database.

§  Home → Standing Data and Summaries → Sequence Data

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