Contact information

Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

Frequently asked questions about Skywarden

Email notifications of new observations
In the early days of Skywarden, there was a possibility to order observation notifications or alerts received by e-mail, for example for phenomena that have just been seen. The following questions are about this ended service.

I filled out the form, but notifications of findings will not come to my email. Why?
The service has for now been disabled, since it caused quite a lot of load for the system. Also users tend to forget, that they've ever ordered alerts from such a service, and reported the observation alerts as spam. This has caused some undesired side-effects.


Using the Skywarden with mobile devices and -phones

Mobile phone browsers can typically browse and send observations. However, the system does not have systematic mobile support for all devices. If your phone's web browser does not support all features of javascript, some functions may not be available. If this happens, you may want to try multiple browsers.

There are some customized programs for browsing the content of the Skywarden on four different mobile platforms. All current applications are in Finnish and go with the name Taivaanvahti.

- iOS / iPhone: Pekka Keränen from Geosaaga Oy has developed an observation browsing application for Apple devices.

- Android phones: two application have been developed.  First browser application was developed by Arto Oksanen and the second one by Pekka Keränen/Geosaaga Oy. Both if these can be downloaded from Google Play.

- Windows Phone: Sasken Finland has released a mobile client capable of sending observations.

It is possible to implement more custom Skywarden applications for different mobile phone platforms. The application development is possible even by using several languages, since language support extends to all open interfaces.

If you are interested in developing new applications or participating in the further development of an existing application, we hope that you will contact system administration: taivaanvahti (at)

Skywarden's open interfaces

Almost all of the Skywarden's content is readable through open search interfaces for non-commersial use. These open interfaces can also be used for fetching observation information for research purposes in many commonly supported file formats (html, csv, xml and json).

For observation-producing applications, there is a separate input interface for observations and comments.

Information not shared through interfaces: Contact information for observers. Also, the observer's name is only available in open data if the observer has allowed the name to be displayed online.

Where do I report a malfunction?
We hope that you will report a system malfunction to maintenance at taivaanvahti (at)

Who are on the development team and as moderators?
The moderators of the Skywarden are Emma Bruus (technical expert of the observation service), Matti Helin, Lauri Kangas, Janne Kari,  Eero Kariven, Pekka Kokko, Panu Lahtinen, Jari Luomanen, Veikko Mäkelä, Juha Ojanperä, Esa Palmi, Marko Pekkola (project manager), Mikko Peussa, Jukka Ruoskanen, Markku Siljama, Tero Sipinen, Matias Takala, Toni Veikkolainen, Samuli Vuorinen, Leo Wikholm and Jari Yli-Oja.
In addition to them, the service development team includes Ville Hinkkanen and Marko Riikonen.

Who has coded the Skywarden?
2011-2015 Medisignal communications: early development
2015-2018 Sasken Finland: new user interface
2019-> Emma Bruus: observation sites, multilangauge support and open interfaces

How do I propose a new feature to the system?
The Skywarden is constantly being developed. Changes are made to the system from time to time, which you can influence by sending your wishes to the maintenance (taivaanvahti (at) The most needed features are most likely to be implemented.

Whose has taken the image on the site banner?
The image of the Skywarden's top banner top has been compiled and modified from images of three different observers with their permission. They are Satu Juvonen, Antti Parkkari and Kari Pulkkinen.

Which entity enables this service?
The Astronomical Association Ursa pays for Skywarden's annual maintenance costs. Thanks for this goes to all Ursa members. If you want to support the observation service, you can become a member of Ursa yourself.