TNS Newsfeed

Here we will notify about new features, modifications, open issues, and any general news and remarks...


A new query parameter was added to the Search page, at the top of the page (above the Obj. Name field): Reported Within the Last X Days/Months/Years.

So that the loading of the search page will not increase over time (as objects continue to accumulate), the default value of this parameter is set to 1 Month.

If willing to perform queries without any limitation on the discovery date range, this field can just be cleared (left empty) or set to 0 (zero).


Revision of the treatment of object coordinates (astrometric accuracies) was deployed on 2019-06-23 on the TNS.

Currently 9 groups have a defined astrometric accuracy (that is below the default value of 5 arcsec), and these are now shown on the Groups page.

Coordinates were updated backwards for a total of 3157 objects, not affecting the actual objects and existing AT reports, and without any merging or splitting of objects.

Please refer to AstroNote 2019-37 for details.


We have deployed several additional updates and functionalities on the AstroNotes.

  • Following requests for displaying additional meaningful text in the email notifications on AstroNotes, we've added a new Abstract field where it is possible to provide a summary of the AstroNote and emphasize/point to its highlights.

The Abstract will be displayed in the AstroNotes email notifications and will also be officially indexed on the ADS as part of the AstroNotes entries.
For it to be properly displayed in the emails, it should contain only simple text (no HTML tags etc...), and it is limited to 1000 characters.

  • Another revision is related to the reporting/displaying of the object properties in the Related Objects table.

When inserting a TNS object in the Related Objects table, its main properties are injected to the table (RA, DEC, Type, Redshift), and those fields are now editable. 
Note that updating those fields does not replace a formal Discovery or Classification report, but these denote what has been reported in the AstroNote itself. 
On the AstroNote page (of a specific AstroNote), those fields will be displayed as the "Reported" properties, and by clicking the "Show current TNS values" above the table, it is also possible to show what are the actual current values on the TNS. 
Reported values that differ from the current TNS values are highlighted in red.

Please have a look on the help page for additional explanations/clarifications.


We're pleased to announce the deployment of a new AstroNotes utility - the ability to create and manage your own
templates with which standardized AstroNotes (usually on behalf of a group/survey) can be easily written and released.

On the new My Templates page, every registered TNS user can create and manage their own AstroNote templates, either a
private one (with Source group=None) or for the use of a group (in which he/she is a member of).

When creating a new AstroNote it is possible to use and load an existing template (of the group or a personal one) by
choosing it in the "Use Template" select field at the top. After loading a template all relevant fields can be edited
and adjusted.

Please see the help page, AstroNotes section, for additional details.

Comments and suggestions are clearly welcome!


The Transient Name Server (TNS) has been serving since Jan 2016 as the official IAU mechanism to announce and name newly
discovered transients. A major goal of this activity is to allow the community to easily connect object names with
precise information about these objects, in particular, their coordinates. The TNS issues automatic discovery and
classification reports for objects that are distributed to registered users and are indexed on the ADS.

In recent months we have identified a need for an expanded service providing a channel to announce to the community
messages covering a broader range of subjects. To answer this need, we have launched the TNS AstroNotes service. This
service allows all registered users to distribute notifications regarding a broad range of astrophysical topics to those
TNS users that choose to subscribe to the AstroNotes service. These include in particular:

1. Notes about discovery or classification of objects that contain more elaborate information than the automated TNS
notifications, including in particular notifications about re-classification of objects.  
2. Notes providing additional data or analysis of transients.  
3. Notifications about new astrophysical tools and utilities. 
4. Notifications about new surveys or new observing campaigns.  
5. General notifications of interest to the community.

The AstroNotes system is built to automatically connect notes to the related objects, thus making it possible to search
for information about an object by coordinates, name, type and more.

All AstroNotes are public, are provided free of charge to post and to read and are indexed on the ADS and citable.

All registered TNS users can submit AstroNotes, as long as they comply with general ethical standards for scientific
publications (including proper credit via references), with applicable laws, and their contents are scientifically
relevant to the astronomical community.

We have initially subscribed all TNS users to this service in order to distribute this notification. If you would prefer
to not receive any additional AstroNotes, or to select which notifications to receive and how often, just login to the
TNS, go to "My Account", scroll down to the "AstroNotes notifications" box and change your preferences accordingly.

We hope you find this service useful, and please feel free to send us any comments or requests to tns AT

A new switch (query field) was added to the Search API ->  "public_timestamp".
If specifying here a certain date-time, the query will retrieve all objects that received a (public) discovery or classification report after that time.
This can serve for querying and downloading object details (using the "Get object" API for the retrieved object names) according to what was added/changed on the TNS from a specified date-time.
This covers also situations where e.g. an already known/existing object receives new information such as spectra (classification reports) etc...
As you can see on the sandbox API TEST FORM, here are the current parameters of the Search API:
  "ra": "",
  "dec": "",
  "radius": "",
  "units": "",
  "objname": "",
  "internal_name": "",
  "public_timestamp": ""



We have updated the interactive spectra plots.

The rest-frame wavelengths are now shown on the bottom x-axis (observed frame at the top);

the elements checkboxes (for over-plotting their lines) have been revised, now enabling to select separately the forbidden lines.

To view the spectra on separate plots, click the figure icons in the spectra list (below the aggregated plot).


The TESS FOVs are now maintained on the TNS, so that notifications can be received whenever a reported transient coincides with the current TESS FOV.

As with previous catalogs, on your "My Account" page, check the TESS-SectorX checkbox for receiving live notifications via email.

Every ~1 month there's a shift of sector and a new sector will become active (you may check the schedule here:

Please make sure to mark each new sector whenever it becomes available. 


On Jan 28 we increased the (cone search) radius threshold for determining coinciding objects from 3 to 5 arcsec.

This should decrease the amount of situations in which a new object is created (the separation from an existing object exceeds the threshold), but then has to be united with an existing event.

The new threshold of 5" also serves as the default cone search radius on the home page and search page, whenever a query by coordinates is performed.


We have added a full set of python sample codes, kindly written by Nikola Knezevic, 

which can be used to help develop the required scripts to work with the TNS.

The codes cover all the existing APIs:

AT/Classification bulk reports (examples are provided for both JSON and TSV formats),

file uploads, update of proprietary end date, search and get object details.

The sample codes (PHP+Python) can be downloaded from the help page, under the relevant APIs sections.