GCN: NASA's Time-Domain and Multimessenger Alert System
GCN distributes alerts between space- and ground-based observatories, physics experiments, and thousands of astronomers around the world.
The General Coordinates Network (GCN) is a public collaboration platform run by NASA for the astronomy research community to share alerts and rapid communications about high-energy, multimessenger, and transient phenomena. For more information, see What is GCN? or check out our slide deck.
There are three ways to stream GCN Notices in real time:
For legacy applications
Three formats, three protocols.
GCN Classic over Kafka
Three formats, one protocol.
One format, one protocol.
Why switch from GCN Classic to Kafka?
|GCN Classic||GCN Classic over Kafka|
|Self-service||NO. Users need to contact administrator in order to make account and subscription changes||YES. Manage your own account and subscription settings through this web site|
|Open standards||NO. Notices are sent using three custom protocols||YES. Notices are sent using one standard protocol, Apache Kafka|
|Open source||NO. Custom software needed to receive notices||YES. Receive notices using open-source software|
|Highly available||NO. Notices are broadcast by a single server||YES. Notices are broadcast by a cluster of highly-available Kafka brokers in the cloud|
|Secure||NO. Notices are sent as plaintext||YES. Notices are protected with SSL/TLS|
Honors and Awards
- Data Streaming Awards 2022: Streaming Company of the Year
- NASA Honor Awards 2022: Group Achievement Award
The GCN Viewer is an interactive, searchable, filterable index of all GCN Notices and Circulars, updated in real time. In the near future, it will be integrated with this web site.
See the GCN Road Map for more features that are coming soon to GCN.