[AstroPy] Astronomical Python Projects (was Re: [SciPy-user] FITS images with header-supplied axes?)

cygnusxlist at mac.com cygnusxlist at mac.com
Tue Apr 1 21:58:14 EDT 2008

Since I'm at home now, I'll describe my 'recreational' python  
projects.  I'm probably the really weird one on the list. ;^)

My major use is in developing simple models/simulations & data  
analysis exercises which can be used in debunking crank astronomy &  
physics (see my .sig below).

I'm using scipy/numpy/pyfits/PIL/PyX for generating graphics from  
simple models.  Here's some recent examples:

- electron-proton-neutron gas equation of state (neutron stars can't  
exist claims)
- power spectra of simple cosmological models (redshift quantization  
- simple galactic supernova distribution models (not enough SNR claims)
- simple radiation transport simulations
- simple E&M field configuration simulations (trying out FiPy for this)
- simulated 'observations' based on various real & crackpot  
cosmological models
- nuclear decay & nuclear reaction networks.

For this project, I don't have a strong need for precision tools.  I  
don't use PyRAF, or the more complex tools available.  I want most of  
my projects to be easily reproducible by students and instructors at  
various levels.  FV & DS9 have sufficed for viewing images generated  
by image-based models to unprocessed Hubble imagery.

The frameworks for some of these might be of use to others, but I'm  
not sure the best way to package them. I've looked at some of the  
data-table readers promoted on the list, but have generally found  
them overkill for my needs (hence I re-invent the wheel for much of  

More recently, I've been working with the pyPOV wrapper to generate  
nice visualizations from models using the POVray ray-tracer.

I do have an interest in a good implementation of WCS in case I want  
to overlay a model with actual data. I have a simple UTC time class  
but it is *not* a precision object (unsuitable for say, pulsar or x- 
ray timing observations).

I'll post the work list tomorrow.


On Apr 1, 2008, at 4:32 PM, Russell E Owen wrote:
> At 1:51 PM -0400 2008-04-01, Bridgman, William T. wrote:
>> Would there be any interest in members of the list publishing a short
>> description of what types of modules they are designing in their own
>> work?  It might be worthwhile for coordination & possible
>> collaborations.  My requirements for work projects are quite
>> different from my recreational & educational python projects.
> Good idea.
> I'm part of the team working on data processing for the LSST. This
> number crunching is done in C++ and the high level operations are
> done in python. This work will probably be primarily of interest to
> those processing a lot of data because it is pipeline-oriented.
> The final product will include:
> - basic types for images, masks and masked images
> - image linearization (bias subtraction, flat fielding, etc.)
> - wcs determination
> - source detection
> - image subtraction
> We intend it to be usable on a variety of data sources (not just
> LSST) since that's the only way to test it. Nonetheless it will
> probably take a bit of work to massage the data headers.
> As far as wcs goes: right now we use wcslib and have a limited python
> interface on it. I suspect if anything better came along we'd be
> happy to switch. (at least at the C++ level; I'm not sure about the
> Python level).
> -- Russell
> _______________________________________________
> AstroPy mailing list
> AstroPy at scipy.org
> http://lists.astropy.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/astropy

Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy
http://homepage.mac.com/cygnusx1                        cygnusx1 at mac.com
"They're trained to believe, not to know.  Belief can be  
manipulated.  Only knowledge is dangerous."  --Frank Herbert, "Dune  

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