ESASky user forum / whiteboard

Welcome to the ESASky user forum! The aim of this forum is to have a place to collect feature requests from users, allow conversations between users and gauge the Astronomy community's priorities related to the ESASky application. We welcome requests for the ESASky, its documentation, its ways of interacting with the community, and any functionality which you think would be widely useful to the Astronomy community.

Please suggest and vote on feature requests below. Before adding a new suggestion, use the search function to see if the idea has already been posted. Please include links to relevant repositories and existing issues in the description of the feature request. Also consider including links to code or images demonstrating the requested functionality.

You can also use this forum to report bugs or request small improvements to existing functionality.

Other places to get help and communicate with the ESASky team are:

The ESASky Project is dedicated to maintaining a positive, inclusive, successful, and growing community. Please observe the usual basic internet citizen rules before posting to this forum.

Under review

Measurement Tool

Andrew James 8 months ago • updated by anonymous 8 months ago 2

This is another good useful resource (found in the ArXiv listing today.) 

What would be very useful is a measurement tool giving separation in arcsec and position angle in degrees, whose accuracy would be in the order of 0.01 arcsec and 0.01 degrees. This could be used to estimate distances or sizes of unknown objects or stars between any two points, and would be useful in some double star work when looking at GAIA data for distant companion stars. This tool is similar to that already available in CDS Aladin, tweaking only the precision displayed.   

Under review

Allow coordinate grid overlay

Belén López Martí 9 months ago • updated by Bruno Altieri 1 month ago 3

Another suggestion from the teachers' workshop, which had already come up in previous conversations with colleagues: The possibility to overlay a coordinate grid for easier coordinate identification and (maybe) quick distance estimates. 

anonymous 8 months ago

Thanks Belén. Good suggestion too. Added to the backlog.


Mobile version

Fab 1 year ago • updated by anonymous 10 months ago 2

I'd like to have a mobile version of ESASky

anonymous 10 months ago

Dear Fabrizio,

It is our great pleasure to announce to you that ESASky v2.0 has been released today and that it now runs on mobile devices like smartphones and tables. It is ironic to have to tell you this since YOU HAVE MADE IT yourself!!

So thanks so much and congratulations for the good work!!

Bruno Merín

On behalf of the ESAC Science Data Centre


Allow to search for Solar System Objects observed serendipitously by Astronomy missions

Bruno Merín 1 year ago • updated by anonymous 10 months ago 2

I would like to be able to search for Solar System Objects that might have been serendipitously (or intentionally) observed by Astronomy observatories.

anonymous 10 months ago

Dear Bruno,

As you know, version 2.0 of ESASky has just been released at and allows to search so far for planets and comets that have been observed either intentionally or serendipitously by space astronomy missions.

Best regards,


On behalf of the ESAC Science Data Centre


Allow the integration of ESASky in a jupyter notebook

Becky Brown 8 months ago • updated by Bruno Merín 8 months ago 1

It would be great to be able to instantiate ESASky in a window inside a jupyter or jupyter lab notebook such that users can inspect data on it, make modification to either images, spectra or catalogues and plot things in real time in ESASky.

Here you can find a similar functionality already available for Aladin Lite:

anonymous 10 months ago

Dear Bruno,

We are happy to report that the feature you requested is now available in ESASky v2.0:

Just click on the filter icon at the top of the INSTRUMENT column in a Herschel imaging tab and you will be able to select the instrument you want.




Generic EPIC FOV for observations planning

Nora Loiseau 6 months ago • updated by Bruno Merín 6 months ago 1

It would be very useful to have an XMM observation planning tool overlaping a field with a generic EPIC footprint for a given RA, Dec and Position Angle. Aladin has this tool wrong, placing RA, Dec in the PN gaps intersection...

Under review

Dynamic overlay symbols for catalogued data

Roland Vavrek 1 year ago • updated by anonymous 10 months ago 1

If EsaSky allows to overlay any Vizier or ESDC catalogue by indicating source positions then it would be very useful if symbols can be adapted to catalogued parameter values.

The user shall be able to select an observable like photometry, photometric error, size, shape parameter, ellipticities etc. from the catalogue for which the system auto-scale symbol size and/or symbol colour. This way a single observable parameter could be easily visualised besides the source position. The system shall auto-detect applicable ranges for the area visualised, or the user shall be able to select a range of values on which the symbol size/colour is applied irrespective the area of interest.

This feature shall be generalised to any derived parameter applying simple arithmetics. For instance, symbol size shall be adapted to a range of Parameter_A, where Parameter_A = Column_1+(Column_2/Column_4).

This functionality facilitates decision support for scientist who could benefit of easy and quick visualisation of large databases for taxonomical research, finding spatial correlations of objects with certain observational properties, finding spatial correlations between type of objects and background structure etc.

Under review

Visualize predicted footprints from planning data

Peter Kretschmar 1 year ago • updated by anonymous 10 months ago 3

Most observatories plan their upcoming observations at least several weeks in advance. There are discussions ongoing to have such planning data published not only via Web pages, as currently, but also in a form that could be easily parsed by software.

Once that were available it would be interesting, especially for multi-wavelength campaigns to have a time-filtered view of theoretical footprints from observatories participicating in such a scheme. Note that this might require a generalisation as it is not clear yet how detailed such planning data would be, when published (e.g., does it precise the spacecraft rotation?).

This is a long-term idea, for the time when such interfaces exist.


Slave ESASky instances

John Hoar 1 month ago • updated by Belén López Martí 1 month ago 4

Allow an instance of ESASky to be slaved to another instance of ESASky, such that if the user move the view, or change FOV of the 'master' instance the slaved instance should change acccordingly. This should be implemented in such a way as to be compatible with other ESA archives using the underlying technology, i.e. ESASky controlling EuclidSky, and vice versa