[AstroPy] Python spectral fitting package - ala Sherpa

Paul Barrett barrett at comet.stsci.edu
Fri Apr 25 08:57:43 EDT 2003

<x-flowed>Has anyone on this list used the spectral fitting application, Sherpa, 
that is part of Chandra's CIAO data analysis package?

I've been using it to analyze/fit FUSE spectra.  I like the design of 
this application, because it separates the minimization algorithm from 
the statistical fit. I routinely use the Bayesian statistic instead of 
the chi-square, since it produces faster and better fits to my spectra. 
On the negative side, Sherpa uses the S-language which is smaller that 
Python and Numeric, but is also less advanced. The user can also add his 
own models to Sherpa, but is limited to only one model written in C. All 
others must be written in S-lang which I find cumbersome for complicated 

The purpose of this message is to see if anyone is interested in 
developing a Python spectral fitting module based on Sherpa's design of 
separating the minimization and statistical algorithms. The use of 
Python classes would make for a simple, yet robust spectral fitting module.

Any intereste out there?

 -- Paul

Paul Barrett, PhD      Space Telescope Science Institute
Phone: 410-338-4475    ESS/Science Software Group
FAX:   410-338-4767    Baltimore, MD 21218

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