Notes on VOEvent

VOEvent is the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) recommended mechanism for describing astronomical transients. Specifically, the VOEvent standard (Seaman, 2011)

defines the content and meaning of a standard information packet for representing, transmitting, publishing and archiving information about a transient celestial event, with the implication that timely follow-up is of interest.

This document provides an introduction to working with VOEvents. It is not normative; rather, it represents the authors’ own particular biases and experiences. This material is intended to accompany the “VOEvent Hands-On Session” presented at Hot-Wiring the Transient Universe IV (henceforth “Hotwired 4”) in May 2015; we hope, though, that it will prove generally useful.

We assume a working knowledge of Python.