"What's Up?" provides users with accurate data of sky events in their area. It tells them when the next events will be happening and gives a brief description about each one. The events recorded include full and new moon phases, solar and lunar eclipses, conjunctions and meteor showers. Also included on the site are some education resources including information on the Aurora Borealis, climate change, constellations and light pollution.

This project is solving the Alert-Alert! challenge.



'What's up' is a website which allows users to subscribe to daily updates and watch live feeds about various night sky events visible to the naked eye. However, there's more to it. We believe that science and astronomy is not for a select few but for everybody. Hence, our mission is to help students, teachers, parents and those who love the stars to learn and experience the magnificence of our night sky.


Every design process begins with narrowing down the target audience, followed by thinking of a befitting metaphor that serves as the backbone of our website. Our target audience was aimed at students and everyday people, who enjoy night sky events, but miss out on these experiences due to lack of either knowledge, time or accessibility. We then decided that our website would be analogous to an observatory curator. This is because an observatory curator is passionate about his subject, and always has more knowledge about related topics too, and this lead to the creation of the educational side to our website.

Research and Data Collection

Since the primary focus of our website was to create a live feed, we started off with data collection. Our website pools data from an RSS feed and other websites into one convenient location. We then broadened our search to collect information about factors affecting the viewing of sky events and added that to our website. These factors included light pollution, climate change, knowing your geographical location. All this was done by keeping in mind our metaphor of the observatory curator.


'What's up' is designed for the masses. Anyone with or without previous knowledge about the universe, astronomy or the night sky will be able to use, experience and learn about various night sky events. We used PHP to collect and provide data feeds, HTML5 and CSS3 for presenting the information, and JavaScript/AJAX to allow a more fluid and uninterrupted user experience as well as to implement the geolocation feature, which finds our users’ coordinates. These co-ordinates help ‘What’s Up’ find local night sky events.

Sustainability and Future Goals

What's Up hopes to make use of social media by allowing users to share their experiences and help promote our "astronomy for all" mission. We also intend to add live feeds about other events such as supernovae and ISS location. If given the right resources, we would also like to expand our database to allow live streaming of sky events.

Project Information

License: GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxmbfgg8zgindl9/whatsup.zip


Site URL -
YouTube Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CljgRl6p3Bw


  • Ben Ezard
  • Callum Hewitt
  • vishnu sunil
  • Raluca Morel
  • Neel Rana
  • Arushi Aneja