Facebook access is presently suspended - this is due to our Facebook App being deactivated by Facebook. We are working to resolve this, however it is unknown when/if the Facebook interface will be restored. More information is here (see the August 20, 2018 entry).

Here you will find information on how to communicate with the Burke-Gaffney Observatory (BGO) by Facebook Messenger. You have to be authorized to interact with the observatory.

The Basics

The observatory monitors the Facebook Messenger in-box of its Facebook page. Initiate a conversation using the Message button near the the upper right of the page. You can also use the Facebook Messenger app with your mobile device (smartphone or tablet).

Each message must include at least one supported command #tag.

You will receive a reply to your message, either

  • acknowledging what you asked it to do is done
  • providing the requested information
  • or sending you an error message

You will also be messaged when your requested image has been taken (along with a low-resolution image for non-special observations) and in the morning when full resolution and raw data are available. Look for completed images here


Many commands are supported. New observers should use those described on the basic page:

Observatory Status

The observatory posts regularly as it is observing on its Facebook page and Twitter Feed (@smubgobs). You can tell it is the observatory posting (instead of a human) when the tags #bgosays or #bgoreplies are used. The former is a general tweet to everyone. The latter means it is replying to someone's tweet.

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