ZTF Avro Alert Format

This page provides basic documentation for the alert stream data formats deployed by the Zwicky Transient Facility.

The alerts are formatted as Apache Avro. Avro is an open-source structured data serialization format that uses schemas to validate and enforce data types and contents. Avro client libraries are available for many major programming languages. For Python 3, the avro-python3 library can be obtained with pip install avro-python3. Better performance may be obtained with the fastavro library, available with pip install fastavro.

The Schema page provides a human-readable guide to the alert fields.

Suggested filters are available to increase the purity of the stream.

An example notebook provides a tutorial for accessing the alert packet contents from python. A second notebook provides an example of filtering for transients.

The ZTF Avro schemas may be seen here.

Sample alert packets are here.