This page describes how search results are returned in the form of "datasets". These are collections containing (i) the data table generated by the search query, (ii) the data table in a CSV file format, and (iii) zipped light curves for all objects corresponding to those matching the search query conditions. These products are available for download from a permanent URL that is associated with each search result. In addition, the data table on the dataset page contains links to detailed per-object information (such as colors, variability tags, and plots of phased light curves if period-finding was run).
Since all queries in the LCC server framework run asynchronously and drop to a background queue after 30 seconds of "active" time, a dataset may not be considered "complete" until all light curves associated with it have been collected into a ZIP file. Most queries finish within 30 seconds and when you browse to the dataset page, the data table and other related information will be immediately rendered. When a query, or the process of collecting the matching object's light curve files into a ZIP file takes too long, the dataset page will show up in an "in progress" state and will show a corresponding notification.
The page will check if the dataset background process has completed every 15 seconds, so you can switch away to other tasks (and even run more queries in the mean time). Once the search backend notifies the dataset's page of its task completion, the dataset's status will change to "complete". The data table will be populated with object rows given the columns requested from the database. If there are more than 3,000 matches for a query, only the first 3,000 will be rendered in the data table to keep the browser responsive. In this case, you can download the full data table CSV and slice and dice it as needed offline.
Queries that return more than 20,000 matches will not produce a light curve ZIP file because it would take too long and take up too much space on the server. If this happens, the data table CSV file will still be generated and will contain links to each object's light curve file for individual download if needed, in additional to the columns requested in the query. It's usually better to try to refine your query in this case to get a smaller set of matching objects that are more relevant, rather than trying to sift through a large number of them.
The header at the top of the page includes information on the query producing the dataset: the arguments parsed by the backend from the input parameters, the number of objects in the dataset, and timing information. Clicking on the collapsible headers in the page header will open the other sections; these include the dataset products section and the data table column description sections.
The data table contains all of the columns requested in the query. It will
expand horizontally to fit the column widths as required. The columns
(the object's database ID),
db_ra (the object's database right ascension),
db_decl (the object's database declination), and
db_lcfname (the object's
light curve file) are always returned with any query result, along with any
columns that had filters or sort conditions applied, and finally, any actual
columns requested in the query. Full-text search queries will return all columns
corresponding to full-text indexed fields in the database so one can quickly
find out what database column matched a full-text search query.
Each table row has a link to additional object information from the light curve catalogs that LCC server has access to. Clicking on the link at the beginning of each row will perform an object information look up for the object in that row, and return it in the form of a pop-up window:
This pop-up window has two tabs. The first contains basic object information, such as a DSS2 RED finder chart, a plot of the light curve, and magnitude and color information. It also contains results of pre-computed cross-matches to external catalogs such as GAIA and SIMBAD, as well as object IDs of any nearby object's in the light curve that may blend the light from any prospective variability. Finally, this tab contains comments on the object type based on its colors and variability if they were present in the input data used by the LCC server to generate its databases.
The second tab contains tiles of period-finding periodograms and phased light curves for the highest three peaks in each periodogram. These can be useful for a quick look at the object's variability before downloading its light curve for additional processing offline.