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A Heliophysics Events Knowledgebase to facilitate scientific discovery

List of Supported Feature/Event types and associated attributes

The full list of Event/Feature types and associated attributes can be found here.


Web developers who wish to create third-party web applications interacting with the Heliophysics Events Registry should consult the HER Web API wiki, which provides examples on how to query HER, how to submit events to HER as well as other functions.

Sunpy API

Sunpy has a HEK module for using HEK's web API.

SolarSoft IDL

We are developing a number of software packages to help researchers use and contribute to the HEK project:
  • Ontology package: SolarSoft API for reporting events and features to the Heliophysics Events Registry (HER), as well as for querying HER.
  • Panorama: an OpenGL based browser for viewing solar data
  • Annotator: a Java tool for the creation of VOEvent XML files suitable for reporting features and events to HER.

SolarSoft Ontology package

For researchers interested in running their feature detection algorithms to produces entries which will be imported into the Heliophysics Events Registry (HER), we are providing the Ontology package, a collection of routines to be used within the Solarsoft environment. The Ontology package is treated like any other SolarSoft package. To add the Ontology package to an existing installation of SolarSoft, do To add the ontology package into your Solarsoft installation, append the keyword ontology to your definition of the SSW_INSTR environment variable. Start up Solarsoft first:

  • IDL> ssw_upgrade,/ontology,/spawn,/loud

To access the library of routines, append 'ontology' to your SSW instrument list $SSW_INSTR (as per instructions here).

After installation, start sswidl. To see a list of supported feature/event types, enter the command:

  • IDL> event=struct4event(/list)

FeatureFeature Code

e.g. evstruct = struct4event('CH')
e.g. evstruct = struct4event('ActiveRegion')

Example of minimally defined 'flare' feature in IDL:

Once you have installed the ontology package, fire up Solarsoft:

  • sswidl
    • ; Create IDL structure for a Flare event
    • event = struct4event('fl')
    • ; Populate the structure with required values
    • event.required.OBS_Observatory = 'TRACE'
    • event.required.OBS_Instrument = 'TRACE'
    • event.required.OBS_ChannelID = 'TRACE 171'
    • event.required.OBS_MeanWavel = '171'
    • event.required.OBS_WavelUnit = 'Angstroms'
    • event.required.FRM_Name = 'Karel Schrijver'
    • event.required.FRM_Identifier = 'Karel Schrijver'
    • event.required.FRM_Institute ='LMSAL'
    • event.required.FRM_HumanFlag = 'yes'
    • event.required.FRM_ParamSet = 'n/a'
    • event.required.FRM_DateRun = '2007/01/03 12:00:00'
    • event.required.FRM_Contact = 'schryver at lmsal dot com'
    • event.required.Event_StartTime = '2006/10/10 23:45:13'
    • event.required.Event_PeakTime = '2006/10/10 23:47:54'; This attribute is specifically required for flare events.
    • event.required.Event_EndTime = '2006/10/10 23:55:20'
    • event.required.Event_CoordSys = 'UTC-HPC-TOPO' ;(see section 3.4.4 of this VO document)
    • event.required.Event_CoordUnit = 'arcsec'
    • event.required.Event_Coord1 = '-400'
    • event.required.Event_Coord2 = '300'
    • event.required.Event_C1Error = '4'
    • event.required.Event_C2Error = '4'
    • event.required.BoundBox_C1LL = '-440' ;Coordinates of lower-left
    • event.required.BoundBox_C2LL = '260' ;corner of bounding box
    • event.required.BoundBox_C1UR = '-360' ;Coordinates of upper-right
    • event.required.BoundBox_C2UR = '340';corner of bounding box
    • ;If you want, add a description
    • event.description="My first flare"
    • ;If you want, add up to ten references
    • ;You must provide a name, link and type for each reference
    • ;Must choose between "html", "image" and "movie" for reference_types.
    • event.reference_names[0] = "Publication"
    • event.reference_links[0] = "http://adswww.harvard.edu/"
    • event.reference_types[0] = "html"
    • ;Now export the IDL structure to an XML file.
    • export_event, event, /write, outfil="Flare_example.xml"


Querying HER using SolarSoft

We are currently writing the full API documentation for the SolarSoft HEK API. For examples on how to use Ontology routines to search for VOEvents in HER, download this document.