Getting Started Checklist

In addition to reading this user guide, we encourage you to sign up for certain e-mail lists and community resources. Make sure that you have completed the items on this checklist.

1. Read This User Guide

Pay particular attention to the Alert Contents section of this user guide to familiarize yourself with the contents of machine-readable LIGO/Virgo GCN Notices. Play with the Sample Code to receive example GCN Notices and practice working with sky localization maps.

2. Subscribe to GCN Circulars

Subscribe to GCN Circulars and review the instructions for posting GCN Circulars. A GCN Circular is a short, public bulletin to rapidly report an astronomical observation. GCN Circulars are distributed by email and archived online. 1 LIGO/Virgo uses GCN Circulars to announce detections, and the astronomy community expects participants to promptly disseminate preliminary reports of follow-up observations of LIGO/Virgo counterparts using GCN Circulars as well.

Important

GCN Circulars can only be posted from registered email addresses. You must sign up for GCN Circulars in advance in order to post to the list.

3. Join the OpenLVEM Community

Sign up to the OpenLVEM mailing list by following the OpenLVEM instructions. LIGO/Virgo will use this list to make announcements and solicit input. It is also a great place to ask questions or discuss issues related to LIGO/Virgo public alerts. Documents relating to teleconferences and in-person meetings are available at OpenLVEM wiki.

4. Visit GraceDB

Familiarize yourself with GraceDB, LIGO/Virgo’s online portal for alerts and real-time results.

1

GCN Circulars are similar to Astronomer’s Telegrams (ATels). By longstanding convention, the gamma-ray burst and gravitational-wave astronomy communities use GCNs, whereas the supernova community uses ATels.