Version 3.0.0 is available now!

Version 3.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus

The latest version of the UAT has been released!  Version 3.0.0 brings many changes and updates to the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus.

We heavily reworked the “Stellar astronomy” and “Solar physics” branches to reflect feedback from the community.  The organizational structure of the “Stellar types” section has proved challenging since the beginning of this project.  There are now multiple ways of approaching and organizing the stars, which reflect the myriad ways astronomers think about the topic.  Nearly 40 concepts were added to the “Solar physics” section, which was also renamed from “Solar astronomy.”  Besides adding concepts that describe new topics, we updated many concepts to differentiate between the Sun and the stars more generally.

Another branch that received heavy revision is “Computational astronomy”, as it holds the new sections on “Astronomy software,” “Computational methods,” and “Astronomy data analysis.”  Similarly, we added a new branch in the UAT for “Astrostatistics,” which covers common tools and techniques in that field.  We added these branches to reflect the importance of software, programming, and computational resources in modern day astronomy.

The last major addition to this version of the UAT comes in the “Laboratory astrophysics” branch, which deals with the study of atoms, molecules, plasmas, particles, dust, and ice in the lab.  Research conducted in the lab and theories about these fundamental topics inform astronomers and help them to understand the physical processes that they observer throughout the universe.

We also made many smaller updates and changes, in total adding 258 new concepts to the UAT.  242 new “related concept” links were added throughout the UAT, many of which increased the connections between solar and stellar concepts, and between concepts about the Milky Way galaxy and concepts about other galaxies.  Many specific stellar classes (i.e. T Tauri stars, or ZZ Ceti stars) were re-evaluated and moved to more relevant subsections of the UAT.  Many duplicate concepts were identified and merged.  We made updates and additions to the Alternate labels for over 190 concepts to help increase findability, as well as adding 15 scope notes and 8 definitions to increase clarity.  Finally, we deprecated 51 concepts, mostly due to duplication or low usage in the literature, streamlining sections of the UAT.

The UAT Steering Committee would like to thank the many people who reviewed and contributed the feedback, including Jason Barnes (University of Idaho), Nancy Brickhouse (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Adam Burgasser (UC San Diego), Ed DeLuca (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Eric Feigelson (AAS Editor, Penn State University), Leon Golub (AAS Editor, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Iouli Gordon (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Chris Lintott (AAS Editor, University of Oxford), Aimee Norton (AAS Editor, Stanford University), Jenny Novacescu (Space Telescope Science Institute), Radek Poleski (Ohio State University), Thomas Robitaille (AAS Editor, Astropy), Daniel Savin (AAS Editor, Columbia University), Sarah Weissman (Space Telescope Science Institute), and Henry “Trae” Winter (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), among many others.

The UAT Steering Committee would also like to thank Kelsey Gibson, Katie Jones, and Jaihyun Park for their work building crosswalks between previous thesauri efforts and the UAT.


Unified Astronomy Thesaurus v.3.0.0 Release Notes Summary

Version 3.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus consists of a polyhierarchy with 2050 concepts, 11 top concepts, a depth of 11 levels, with 534 related concept links.

Release Date: 9/21/2018

Overview of Changes

  • Added 3 new branches:
    • Astrostatistics
    • Laboratory astrophysics
    • Astronomy software
  • Major revisions of various branches:
    • Stellar astronomy
    • Solar physics
    • Computational astronomy
  • 258 new concepts were added to the UAT.
  • 51 concepts were deprecated.
  • The preferred label of 88 concepts were updated to add context, clarity, and consistency.
  • Added or updated AltLabels for 196 concepts, remove AltLabels for 34 concepts.
  • Added 8 definitions, 15 scope notes, and 1 example.
  • Removed 20 related links, added 242 new related links.
  • Resolves Issues in Milestone Baerlon, Milestone Stellar types reorganization, and Milestone Solar physics updates.

The UAT is available for download on GitHub.
For a detailed list of changes, see the full release notes.


Recently Published Articles

Frey, K.; Accomazzi, A. The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus: Semantic Metadata for Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2018 ApJS 236 24.

Frey,K; Weissman, S.; Kern, B.; Lagerstrom, J.; Peek, J; Accomazzi, A. Managing Contributions to the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus. EPJ Web Conf., 186 (2018) 09003.


The UAT is an open source project supported by the AAS.

Version 2.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus

Today we are releasing Version 2.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus. This release cleans up minor errors, such as duplicate concepts and preferred label consistency. We have also changed all concept IDs to numeric identifiers, a change that will facilitate editing and management of the UAT going forward.

Overview of Changes

  • The UAT was switched from descriptive, human readable concept identifiers to numeric identifiers. This is a rather significant change, and included in the source code download for this version is a mapping from previous identifiers to new identifiers.
  • The preferred label of 79 concepts were updated to add context, clarity, and consistency.
  • 16 new concepts were added to the UAT.
  • 3 concepts were moved from one parent concept to another.
  • 9 concepts were merged into similar concepts to remove duplicates from the UAT.
  • Resolves Issues in GitHub Milestone Arinelle.

For a detailed list of changes, please see the release notes.

Unified Astronomy Thesaurus v.1 is here!

Today I am releasing version one of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT v.1).

The UAT has been completely overhauled; restructured into new top level categories and re-organized throughout.  There have been many major revisions to bring it more inline with the way astronomers and astrophysicists study the universe.

I want to thank Sarah Weissman, Josh Peek, Kayleigh Bohemier, Dianne Dietrich, Jane Holmquist, Barbara Kern, and especially Jill Lagerstrom for all of the work each of you put into revising and updating the thesaurus.  I also want to thank the many researches and scientists who lent their expertise to this project.  Because of all of you, every term in the UAT was looked at, revised, edited, tweaked, or moved.

Version 1 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus has 1834 terms, 11 top level categories, a depth of 10 terms, and 319 ‘related term’ links.  For comparison, the beta version of the UAT had 1920 terms, 15 top level categories, a depth of 15 terms, and 224 ‘related term’ links.

In addition to the major restructuring of the UATs top level categories and overall organizational structure, 321 terms were removed, 236 new terms were added, and 95 new ‘related term’ links were added.

All thesaurus views on this website have been updated to UAT v.1.  The beta version can still be accessed via the archived files on GitHub and through the UAT Explorer (choose “beta” from the version drop down menu).

Of course, the work on this project is not finished!  The goal, in fact, is that it will never been finished.  There are still areas in the UAT that could be further improved and new terms that could be added.  We’re always interested in feedback on the UAT, and we have some long term ideas for an expansion that I am very excited about.

In the meantime, I will be presenting the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus at the upcoming AAS meeting in Kissimmie, FL on Wednesday January 6th and 12noon.  Hope to see you there!