Section author: Robert Nikutta <>

4.3. Glossary

A collection of acronyms, abbrieviations and jargon that might come up when dealing with Data Lab.

What people say What they mean
AC auth client
ADQL astronomical data query language
AM auth manager
API docs DL API auto-docs (made from docstrings via Sphinx):
async asynchroneous query mode (call returns immediately with a jobID; check job status later)
BASS Beijing-Arizona Sky Survey
DAL Data Access Layer
Data discovery tool online sky visuzalization and SQL query form tools:
DB database
DECaLS Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey
DECam Dark Energy Camera
DECaPS Dark Energy Camera Plane Survey
DES Dark Energy Survey
DL Data Lab
DM data management
DRx Data Release x, with x a version number, e.g. DES DR1
gp0x DL machine names, x small integer
HEALPix Hierarchical Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelization (of a sphere)
helpdesk DL help desk (sub-)website:
IVOA International Virtual Observatory Alliance
LIneA Laboratório Interinstitucional de e-Astronomia (Brazil)
LSST Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
manual DL online user manual:
MOC HEALPix Multi-Order Coverage Map
MyDB DB system used by DL for user’s personal tabular data storage
MzLS Mayall z-band Legacy Survey
NB (Jupyter) notebook
NOAO National Optical Astronomy Observatory
notebook a Jupyter notebook with Python code
NSC NOAO Source Catalog
NSA NOAO Science Archive; abbreviation superseded by SDA
NSCA National Center for Supercomputing Applications
PD production database
PDR production ready database
PG Postgres (the DB we use at DL)
PG10 Postgres version 10
PHAT Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury
PostgreSQL SQL language used by Postgres
profile a named config that can be set in notebooks/code running calls to DL; sets varous machine & DB configs
Q3C Plugin for PostgreSQL, to do searches in circles, ellipses or polygons on the sky, and fast cross-matches.
QC query client
QM query manager
SAMP Simple Application Messaging Protocol (TOPCAT uses it a lot)
SC store client
SCS Simple Cone Search, an IVOA protocol for object queries in a conical area around a central point
SDA (NOAO) Science Data Archive
SDSS Sloan Digital Sky Survey
SIA Simple Image Access, an IVOA protocol to query for images at given sky coordinates
SM store manager
SMASH Survey of the Magellanic Stellar History
Sphinx the documentation system we use for the DL manual, DL devops docs, code API auto-doc
SQL structured query language
SSA Simple Spectral Access, an IVOA protocol to query for spectra
SVA1 Dark Energy Survey (DES) Science Verification (SV) phase, version A1
sync synchroneous query mode (call blocks until result is returned)
TAP table access protocol
token user auth token obtained by logging in to DL
USNO U.S. Naval Observatory, provider of e.g. the USNO-A2 Catalog of Astrometric Standards
VO Virtual Observatory
VOS virtual observatory space (virtual storage)
VOTable VO Table Format
xmatch cross-match