Category Archives: presentations

Research poster at AAS 233

URLs have often been used as proxy citations for software and data. We extracted URLs from one journal’s 2015 research articles, removed those from certain long-term reliable domains, and tested the remainder to determine what percentage of these URLs were accessible in September and October 2017. We repeated this test a year later to determine what percentage of these links were still accessible. We will present what we learned about URL accessibility in astronomy.

P. Wesley Ryan, Astrophysics Source Code Library

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ASCL poster at AAS #233

Software is the most used instrument in astronomy, and organizations such as NASA and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Physics (HITS) fund, develop, and release research software. NASA, for example, has created sites such as code.nasa.gov and software.nasa.gov to share its software with the world, but how easy is it to see what NASA has? Until recently, searching NASA’s Astrophysics Data System (ADS) for NASA’s astronomy software has not been fruitful; NASA has funded the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL ascl.net) to improve the discoverability of these codes. The ASCL, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a free online registry of software used in astronomy research and is indexed by ADS, Web of Science, and other resources. Adding NASA and HITS astronomy research codes to the ASCL with appropriate tags enables finding this software easily not only in the ASCL but also in ADS and other services that index the ASCL. This poster presentation covers the changes the ASCL has made to enable discovery of NASA software in ADS and the results of this work.

Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library/University of Maryland, College Park
Peter Teuben, University of Maryland, College Park
Judy Schmidt, Astrophysics Source Code Library
Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University

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Software activities at AAS 233 in Seattle, Jan 2019

It’s that time of year again when software folks — users and authors alike — dream of all the software activities at the winter AAS meeting. So here is the ASCL’s (abbreviated*) annual round-up to jumpstart your dreams and warm your code-loving heart! If you have items you want added, please let me know in the comments below or send an email to editor@ascl.net. Thank you!

All rooms are in the Washington State Convention Center unless otherwise specified.


SATURDAY, 5 JANUARY 2019
Workshops
Introduction to Software Carpentry (Day 1), 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 211
The AAS Chandra/CIAO Workshop, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; 204
Using Python to Search NASA’s Astrophysics Archives, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM; 213


SUNDAY, 6 JANUARY 2019
Workshops
SOFIA Workshop for FORCAST and HAWC+ Data Analysis, 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM; 201
Adding LISA to your Astronomy Tool Box, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 213
Introduction to Software Carpentry (Day 2), 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 211
Using Python and Astropy for Astronomical Data Analysis, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 4C-4
The AAS Chandra/CIAO Workshop, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; 204
Advanced Searching in the New ADS: On the Web and Using the API, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM; 304


MONDAY, 7 JANUARY 2019
Splinter meetings
Data Science, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 4C-1
Updates on Implementing Software Citation in Astronomy, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM; 203
An Open Discussion on Astronomy Software, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM; 4C-4

Open event
AAS WorldWide Telescope presents: Advances in Astronomical Visualization, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM; 214

Oral presentations
Session 126. Machine Learning in Astronomical Data Analysis, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM; 607 (5 presentations)

Also:
112.01. Constraining BH formation with 2M05215658+4359220, 10:00 AM – 10:10 AM, 612
109.03. Real-time data reduction pipeline and image analysis software for FIREBall-2: first flight with a δ-doped UV-EMCCDs operating in counting mode, 10:30 AM – 10:40 AM, 608
175.06. Python, Unix, Observing, and LaTeX: Introducing First Year Undergraduates to Astronomical Research, 10:50 AM – 11:00 AM, 620
109.08. TESS Data Analysis using the community-developed Lightkurve Python Package, 11:20 AM – 11:30 AM, 608
123.02D. A Uniform Analysis of Exoplanet Atmosphere Spectra Observed by HST WFC3 Is Consistent with Watery Worlds, 2:10 PM – 2:30 PM, 6C
129.06. Reconstructing the Orphan Stream Progenitor with MilkyWay@home Volunteer Computing, 3:00 PM – 3:10 PM, 611

Selected posters
144.25. Identifying and Comparing Centrally Star-Forming Galaxies Using MaNGA
144.29. Deriving star formation histories from photometric spectral energy distributions with diffusion k-means
144.30. Using Convolutional Neural Networks to predict Galaxy Metallicity from Three-Color Images
144.35. Automatic Detection and Analysis of Debris from Galactic Accretion Events
145.05. Galaxy Gradients Across Simulations
145.07. Reduction and Analysis of GMOS Spectroscopy for Herschel Sources in CANDELS
145.25. Comparison of the HI Signal Extraction Algorithms of SoFiA and ALFALFA
140.02. Tracking the TESS Pipeline
140.12. Undergraduates Can Find Planets Too
140.16. Identifying Transiting Exoplanets in with Deep Learning in K2 Data
140.20. The Impact of Small Statistics on Identifying Background False Positives in Kepler Data
140.23. AutoRegressive Planet Search for Ground-Based Transit Surveys
140.29. Getting to Know Your Star: A comparison of analytic techniques for deriving stellar parameters and abundances
149.18. NANOGrav: Data Accessibility, Analysis and Automation using Python
150.01. Revised Simulations of the Planetary Nebulae Luminosity Function
150.15. Identifying Binary Central Stars of Planetary Nebulae with PSF Fitting
158.02. HaloSat: X-Ray Calibration and Spectral Analysis for a NASA CubeSat
162.04. The Starchive

Selected iPosters
167.02. Modeling circumstellar dust around low-mass-loss rate carbon-rich AGB stars
167.04. The response of optical Fe II emission in AGNs to changes in the ionizing continuum, I: photoionization modelling
164.02. A Maximum Likelihood Approach to Extracting Photon-Starved Spectra of Directly Imaged Exoplanets
166.02. Smoothed Particle Inference Analysis of SNR DEM L71
171.03. The State of Software Tools for the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph

Other activities of possible interest
Monday, January 7: Data Science Splinter Meeting, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 4C-1


TUESDAY, 8 JANUARY 2019
Workshop
LSST Science Pipelines Stack Tutorial for AAS, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 310

Splinter meeting
Cafe SCiMMA: Conceptualizing an NSF Center for Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Multimessenger Astrophysics, 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM; Redwood (Sheraton Seattle Hotel)

Oral presentations
Session 225. Computation, Data Science, and Image Analysis, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM, 6E (6 presentations)

Also:
218.05. A Uniform Analysis of Kepler/K2 Exoplanet Transit Parameters, 10:40 AM – 10:50 AM, 603
206.05D. High Resolution spatial analysis of z ~2 lensed galaxy using pixelated source-reconstruction algorithm, 10:50 AM – 11:10 AM, 605/610
203.05. Atmosphere Retrieval of Planetary Mass Companions with the APOLLO Code: A Case Study of HD 106906b and Prospects for JWST, 11:00 AM – 11:10 AM, 6B
207.10. astroquery: An Astronomical Web-Querying Package in Python, 11:03 AM – 11:10 AM, 606
239.04D. Kinematics of Circumgalactic Gas and Cold Gas Accretion at Redshift z=0.2, 2:40 PM – 3:00 PM, 609
227.07. Mu and You: Public Microlensing Analysis Tools and Survey Data, 3:12 PM – 3:24 PM, 606

Poster presentations
Session 245. Computation, Data Science, and Image Analysis posters (31 posters!)

Selected posters
243.08. Utilizing Independent Component Analysis to Explore the Diversity of Quasars
245.01. Making organizational research software more discoverable
245.27. The MAESTROeX low Mach number stellar hydrodynamics code
245.29. The Castro Adaptive Mesh Refinement Hydrodynamics Code: Applications, Algorithm Development, and Performance Portability
247.30. Chemical Analysis of Tabby’s Star (KIC 8462852)
247.35. VPLanet: The VIrtual Planet Simulator
249.11. Know Your Neighbors: New Catalogs and Analysis of Star Clusters in the LMC, SMC, & M33
250.02. X-Ray Source Analysis In The Globular Clusters NGC 6341 and NGC 6541
253.06. Structure Function Analysis of Turbulent Properties in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds
259.05. Forward-Modeling Analysis of Late-T Dwarf Atmospheres
259.15. Finding age relations for low mass stars using magnetic activity and kinematics
259.24. A Uniform Retrieval Analysis on a Sample of 16 T-dwarfs
258.25. SuperNovae Analysis aPplication (SNAP): Identifing and Understanding the Physics of Supernovae

Selected iPosters
268.02. Towards 3D Parameter Space Studies of CCSNe With Grey, Two-Moment Neutrino Transport
261.12. Using Machine Learning to Predict the Masses of Galaxy Clusters
261.15. Mapping Galaxy Cluster Orientations from Cosmo-OWLS Simulations
261.16. A Hydrodynamical Simulation of the Off-Axis Cluster Merger Abell 115


WEDNESDAY, 9 JANUARY 2019
Open meeting
AAS WorldWide Telescope with Python and Astropy, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM; 214

Oral presentations
316.04D. Feedback and Chemical Enrichment in Low Mass Dwarf Galaxies: Insights from Simulations Tracking Individual Stars, 10:30 AM – 10:50 AM, 617
304.03. Recent upgrades to the pyLIMA software for microlensing modeling and analysis of two binary events, 10:10 AM – 10:20 AM, 6E
311.05. Quantifying the effects of spatial resolution and noise on galaxy metallicity gradients, 11:00 AM – 11:10 AM, 612
313.05D. Probabilistic data analysis methods for large photometric surveys, 10:50 AM – 11:10 AM, 614
336.04D. Simultaneous modelling of X-rays emission and optical polarization of intermediate polars using the CYCLOPS code: the case of V405 Aurigae, 2:40 PM – 3:00 PM, 614
342.06. On Open Cluster Disruption, 3:00 PM – 3:10 PM, 620
341.01. Reproducing Stellar Rotation Periods in the Kepler Field via Magnetic Braking and Tidal Torques

Selected posters
346.04. Designing a Python Module for the Calculation of Molecular Parameters and Production Rates in Comets
347.01. Hyperlink preservation in astrophysics papers
348.19. The COBAIN code. Basic principles and geometrical considerations
348.27. Considerations and Design Principles for the 2.1 Release of the PHOEBE Eclipsing Binary Modeling Code
356.06. Analysis of a large number of spiral galaxies shows asymmetry between clockwise and counterclockwise galaxies

Session 381. Computation, Data Science, and Image Analysis session (8 iPosters)

Selected iPosters
381.03. ASTROstream: Automated claSsification of Transient astRonomical phenOmena in the streaming mode
381.05. Understanding and using the Fermitools
381.07. Polarization Calibration Post-Pipeline in CASA: Pilot Implementation
381.08. Transitioning from ADS Classic to the new ADS search platform


THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY 2019
Hack Together Day
8:30 AM – 7:00 PM; 4C-2

Oral presentations
413.06. The Radio Astronomy Software Group: Foundational Tools for 21 cm Cosmology and Beyond, 11:10 AM – 11:20 AM, 614
408.07D. Hundreds of New Planet Candidates from K2, 11:00 AM – 11:20 AM, 608
411.05D. AzTEC Survey of the Central Molecular Zone: Modeling Dust SEDs and N-PDF with Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis, 10:40 AM – 11:00 AM, 612
405.05. How can new data analysis methods get more out of Kepler/K2 data?, 10:40 AM – 10:50 AM, 605/610
425.01. The Dedalus project: open source science in astrophysics with examples in convection and stellar dynamos, 2:00 PM – 2:22 PM, 606
430.02D. Analysis of the spatially-resolved V-3.6μm colors and dust extinction within 257 nearby NGC and IC galaxies, 2:20 PM – 2:40 PM, 612

Selected posters
443.11. WFC3 PSF Database and Analysis Tools
457.02. The Stak Notebooks: Transitioning From IRAF to Python
442.01. ExoPhotons: Exoplanet Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer
442.02. Quantifying inhomogeneities in the HI distributions of simulated galaxies
445.01. Lightkurve v1.0: Kepler, K2, and TESS time series analysis in Python
445.05. Using Kepler DR25 Products to Compute Exoplanet Ocurrence Rates
465.07. Distribution of stellar rotation periods using light curve analysis of second phase Kepler data


* abbreviated as in I haven’t listed all the posters that could be listed here, as the list was getting very very long…

ASCL research poster at ADASS XXVIII


Astronomers use software for their research, but how many of the codes they use are available as source code? We examined a sample of 166 papers from 2015 for clearly identified software use, then searched for source code for the software packages mentioned in these research papers. We categorized the software to indicate whether source code is available for download and whether there are restrictions to accessing it, and if source code was not available, whether some other form of the software, such as a binary, was. Over 40% of the source code for the software used in our sample was not available for download. As URLs have often been used as proxy citations for software and data, we also extracted URLs from one journal’s 2015 research articles, removed those from certain long-term reliable domains, and tested the remainder to determine what percentage of these URLs were accessible in September and October, 2017. We repeated this test a year later to determine what percentage of these links were still accessible. This poster will present what we learned about software availability and URL accessibility in astronomy.

P. Wesley Ryan, Astrophysics Source Code Library
Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library/University of Maryland
Peter Teuben, University of Maryland

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Seminar at Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon

I gave a seminar at the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon on Friday, September 14, at the invitation of Mohammad Akhlaghi, a post-doc there. Mohammad is very interested and has done a lot of work on reproducibility, ensuring that his work is reproducible and developing a reproducibility framework that can be adopted by others. The seminar took place on CRAL’s lovely historic campus at the Observatoire de Lyon in Saint-Genis-Laval. The title, abstract, and link to the slides are below.


Title: Make your code famous! (or at least discoverable).

Abstract: Source codes are increasingly important for the advancement of science in general and astrophysics in particular. Journal articles detail the general logic behind new results and ideas, but often the source codes that enable these results remain hidden from public view. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent study on the availability of source codes used for published research and how this affects the transparency and reproducibility of astro research. I will cover what the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL, ascl.net) is, how to submit software to the resource, and the benefits of doing so. I will share what happens after software is submitted, how ASCL entries are indexed by ADS, the links between literature and software entries, and how an ASCL ID can be used for citing your code. I will cover good and bad ways to cite software, avenues for publishing software, and how journals are changing to include and recognize the contribution software makes to our discipline.

Slides (PDF)

ASCL poster as IAU 2018 General Assembly

ASCL poster for IAU 2018 meeting

Abstract: Astrophysics research relies on software and all robust science requires transparency and reproducibility, yet the computational methods used in our discipline are often not shared or are difficult to find. In recent preliminary research, 40% of the software used in the 2015 papers we examined did not offer source code and restricting the reproducibility of this research. The Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL. ascl.net) registers astrophysics research source codes that have been used in refereed research, benefiting the field in numerous ways, including increasing the discoverability of software and making the published research record more robust. With over 1,700 codes, the ASCL is the largest indexed resource for astronomy research codes in existence. This free online registry was established in 1999 and is indexed by ADS and Web of Science. ASCL registration allows your software to be cited on its own merits and provides a citation method that is trackable and accepted by all astronomy journals and journals such as Science and Nature. This presentation covers the benefits of registering astronomy research software with the ASCL, upcoming changes that will enable greater software discovery initially for NASA software and potentially for software funded by other organizations, changes to the ASCL and ADS that benefit researchers, and our research into software use in astronomy.

Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library/University of Maryland
Robert J. Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University
Peter J. Teuben, University of Maryland

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Software in Astronomy Symposium Presentations, Part 6

This is the sixth in a series of posts on the six-session Software in Astronomy Symposium held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4 at the 2018 EWASS/NAM meeting.

BLOCK 6: Software Publishing Special Interest Group Meeting
This meeting-within-a-meeting was an opportunity for journal editors, publishers, referees, abstract services, and others associated with research software publication to discuss how best to include research software in the scholarly record, improve the sustainability and reproducibility of research articles, and share information on issues and possible solutions. Representatives from Science, Nature-Springer, MNRAS, Oxford University Press, and AAS Journals were among the journals and publishers attending. As the session was open to all, researchers and software authors also attended. The agenda had three main items on it: journal software policies, ratings for numerical reproducibility, and improving instructions for authors and referees. The session was moderated by Rein Warmels (ESO, DE) and Alice Allen (ASCL, US).

After introductions by all in the room, the first agenda item, journal policies on software, was opened for discussion. Keith Smith, associate editor for astronomy and planetary science for Science, shared that his journal is requiring that software that enables research results be shared. Editors from other journals stated that this would probably not work for them, though they are sympathetic to the importance of research software transparency. Chris Lintott, lead editor for Instrumentation, Software, Laboratory Astrophysics, and Data for AAS Journals, said that he rewrote the Journals’ software policies on his first day at the job to require formal citation of software. Smith pointed out the expectation is different for data; people are much more open about sharing observational data, and A&A (may) require it. Warmels noted a difference between data and software; the quality of observational data from an observatory is known. This is not the case with software. We cannot know the quality of the unreleased code. Amruta Jaodand asked whether publishing houses have software reviewers. The various astronomical societies’ journals do not peer-review code; there are a few journals that do perform code review of various depths, such as the Journal of Open Source Software and Software X, both of which focus on research software across disciplines.

There was support for better software citation, but not for ratings of articles for numerical reproducibility. The idea of ratings for reproducibility led to a discussion about reproducibility itself and the issue of releasing software written for research. Adam Leary, senior publisher at Oxford University Press, said that the Journal of Biostatistics rates the reproducibility of its articles and that that journal has a reproducibility editor. The group discussed the workload this might put on reviewers along with other issues, which would slow down the review. But the real job would be for the authors! Brigitta Sipocz mentioned the need for a feedback loop, which triggered the question as to why one would want to put a lot of resources into reproducibility. Smith replied that there are cases in other sciences where whole bodies of work could not be reproduced! Warmels pointed out that a number of fake results were found by the community, not by reviewers.

Someone suggested pushing the community toward releasing software through funding councils. Lintott initially liked the idea, and stated that journals could enforce this by checking papers against funding/funders that require release. Allen found this is an intriguing suggestion. Additional discussion raised several issues with this approach. The impracticality of implementing the idea became obvious when considering the time and resources it would take and the complexity of funding, as well as varied requirements of a large number of funding organizations.

Smith’s “virtuous cycle” slide

The discussion then turned to reasons researchers do not release their software, with one advantage stated as, “If you don’t give me this funding, this research will not be done.” We have to change the way we argue for funding, then… “because as the only person who can do this, keeping my code private IS an advantage.” Jaodand mentioned that researchers get less credit for software than for research results. Smith replied that until we build up a virtuous cycle of code release, something he had mentioned in his presentation the previous day, the answer may be getting the credit system working first.

Another disincentive for code release mentioned was the possibility of someone running software incorrectly and then publishing “this code doesn’t work.” Lintott said that we should look for this and get data on it, so we can answer the question, “How often has this happened?” He also suggested looking for the positive cases, where release has been good for a developer or developer team, and provide this data to code authors.

The next agenda item was improving instructions for authors and referees on software citation and treatment. According to Smith, Science’s instructions were improved by rewiting them to accord with the Center for Open Science‘s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. The guidelines are very helpful, and using them provides clear instructions. Greg Schwartz, data editor for AAS Journals, asked how we could better encourage authors to read instructions. Smith waggishly replied these instructions exist so journal editors can point to them. It was suggested that journals standardize their instructions not only to help authors out but also to discourage what was referred to as “research tourism.”  The TOP Guidelines were again brought up as a good tool to use for standardizing instructions. Someone asked about having a section for acknowledgements or statements for software. Smith pointed out the danger that some may think that section as a substitute for formal citation. Allen agreed that software should have formal citations, and also stated her appreciation for the Software section that AAS Journals have added to their papers. The ASCL has long been interested in seeing such a software listing in research articles (in addition to, not as a substitute for, formal citation of software). Warmels returned the discussion to the idea of standardization of instructions, asking whether this can be done. Journal representatives said the various journals do get together to standardize where they can, and are due to do so again.

The discussion migrated to openness in general. Among the suggestions for moving the discipline to be more open were to “Advertise your openness!” and to include a slide in your presentations that say your work is open and reproducible; this lets your peers know that you value openness, and can help others think about working more openly. The point was made to not rely on policing for open practices as resources aren’t available to do so. The role of education was brought up, too: Researchers need to be taught how to make their data and software open.

The final agenda item was to decide whether an on-going software publishing special interest group might be welcomed by those in the room; there was no support for this. Journals already have a method to share information amongst themselves and everyone is oversubscribed to meetings, groups, and conference calls. With that item settled, the meeting and Software in Astronomy Symposium concluded.

The ASCL thanks the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies for its generous ongoing support, which permitted two participants in this symposium to attend the EWASS/NAM meeting who would not have been able to do so without it.

Software in Astronomy Symposium Presentations, Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts on the six-session Software in Astronomy Symposium held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4 at the 2018 EWASS/NAM meeting.

BLOCK 5: Machine Learning & Data Mining
Stephen Serjeant (Open University, UK) moderated the fifth session. This session presented different techniques to, for example, study noise in gravitational wave interferometers, select young stellar object candidates, and directly image exoplanets. David Cornu’s (UTINAM, FR) talk, titled Selection of Spitzer YSO candidates using deep learning classifier, included a short tutorial for creating an artificial neural network, showing how a small neuron takes input vectors and updates weights associated with them to understand anti- and co-relation between various factors. Similarly, Carlos Alberto Gomez Gonzalez (U Grenoble Alpes) showed how supervised machine learning can be used to detect exoplanets in his presentation Data science for direct imaging of exoplanets. Other talks in this session included Massimiliano Razzano (INFN, IT), Deep learning to study the noise in gravitational wave interferometers, Sebastian Turner (LJMU, UK) presenting on k-means clustering in galaxy feature data, and Emille Ishida (COIN, FR) presenting for Santiago Gonzalez Gaitan, with Spatial inference of astronomical datasets with INLA. Robert Lyon (UManchester, UK) finished this session with a presentation on Imbalanced learning in astronomy, and provides a Jupyter notebook containing a tutorial and examples. The presentations in this session were accessible even to those with no experience in data mining and machine learning, as the techniques used were explained quickly and well before moving on to how they enabled particular research.

Slides from this session

Selection of Spitzer YSO candidates using deep learning classifier by David Cornu (pdf)

Data science for direct imaging of exoplanets by Carlos Alberto Gomez Gonzalez (pdf)

k-means clustering in galaxy feature data by Seb Turner (pdf)

Spatial inference of astronomical datasets with INLA by Emille Ishida/Santiago Gonzalez Gaitan (pdf)

Imbalanced learning in astronomy by Rob Lyon (pptx)

Software in Astronomy Symposium Presentations, Part 4

This is the fourth in a series of posts on the six-session Software in Astronomy Symposium held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4 at the 2018 EWASS/NAM meeting.
BLOCK 4: Open & Transparent Data Services
Astronomy leads most sciences in providing many open services, particularly data and ways to get access to and use data. This session, moderated by Andy Pollock (USheffield, UK), highlighted some of the new and ongoing services available to not just professional astronomers, but also to students and other interested parties. Debbie Baines (ESA, ES) opened the session with her presentation ESASky version 2: the next generation, which included a live demonstration of this incredible resource. ESASky allows searching for any astronomical object and offers viewing it in different wavelengths. It is very fast, too; Baines loaded images from Herschel, XMM, Chandra, and HST in her live demo. It offers relevant links to SIMBAD, such as to papers, and one can pull up research literature from ADS in ESASky, too. Rachael Ainsworth (UMelbourne, AU), originally scheduled to give the first presentation, followed Baines; her presentation, Open Science in Astronomy, gave an overview of openness in astronomy. She pointed out that astronomy is better at open science than many other fields, crediting, among other services, arXiv and GalaxyZoo. She covered some of the challenges and shared additional resources that support, encourage, or make open science possible. Jorge Palacios (IFAE, ES), in his talk Astronomy in a Big Data platform, discussed two services, Cosmohub, a web portal for interactive exploration and distribution of massive cosmological data, and SciPIC (Scientific pipeline at PIC), software for generating synthetic galaxy catalogs using DM simulations. In An Interactive Sky Map based on the Byurakan Plate Archive, Gor Mikayelyan (BAO, AM) shared that the NAS RA Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory in Armenia is making its plate archive, covering 1947 -1991, available online in the BAO Observational Database, which will have the ability to search and select and will allow downloading the plates in different formats. A sky map will show where plates are available. After the last two talks, The ASI Cosmic Ray Database for charged particles data by Valeria Di Felice (SSDC/INFN, IT) and Using XML and semantic technologies in astroinformatics to manage data by Guy Beech (UHuddersfield, UK), Pollock opened the floor for discussion and asked whether people could do what they’d like to do as efficiently as they’d like. One answer from the audience was no, because the data are heterogeneous and different ways are required to access them. One pointed observation arising from the back-and-forth was that “radio astronomy is decades behind” in terms of software services, with “thousands of different file formats processed by thousands of different programs”.

Slides from this session

Open Science in Astronomy by Rachael Ainsworth (pdf)

Astronomy in a Big Data platform by Jorge Palacios (pdf)

An Interactive Sky Map based on the Byurakan Plate Archive by Gor Mikayelyan (pdf) | Text (pdf)

The ASI Cosmic Ray Database for charged particles data by Valeria Di Felice (pdf)

Using XML and semantic technologies in astroinformatics to manage data by Guy Beech (pdf) | Paper (pdf)

Software in Astronomy Symposium Presentations, Part 3

This is the third in a series of posts on the six-session Software in Astronomy Symposium held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4 at the 2018 EWASS/NAM meeting.

BLOCK 3: Software packages for research
Amruta Jaodand
(ASTRON, NL) moderated the third session of the Symposium, which featured talks on seven different software packages. The first presentation was by Sergio Martin (ESO, CL), on MADCUBA and SLIM: A lightweight software package for datacube handling and spectral line analysis. These software packages offer features for easier use of the ImageJ image processing framework; this framework is widely used in other disciplines for multidimentional images. SLIM provides a synthetic spectra generation and automatic fit to observed spectra; MADCUBA provides an interface to handle and manipulate multiple datacubes, process large datasets quickly, and is scriptable. Alex Hamilton (UHull, UK) presented SunPy the Open Source Solar Physics Library, giving an introduction to the package, which collects, manages, and analyzes data from many solar data sources, and sharing information on its new features and capabilities.

As one of this session’s presenters was doubled-booked, we made adjustments to the order of presentations, so The next-generation cosmological code SWIFT was the next talk; this was given by Matthieu Schaller (LeidenU, NL). This package, due for release this summer, uses task-based parallelism for intra-node parallelization; testing has demonstrated that it is more than 30x faster than the code Gadget on representative cosmological problems while using fewer resources. The next talk had generated a lot of interest, as it is not a usual astronomy conference offering. Maisie Rashman (LJMU, UK) spoke about Developing and applying astronomical software for novel use in conservation biology. The team Rashman works on has developed a pipeline using astronomy techniques to identify and track animals; their goal is to create a fully automated system for species identification, population tracking, and combating poaching using drones. After Rashman, Shane Maloney (Trinity College, IE) presented xrayvision – a collection of image reconstructions methods for X-ray visibility observations. The xrayvision package is built atop other packages, including SunPy, and fills a need for an open-source solution for these observations. One of the project’s goals is to provide access to people in poorer countries to software for solar physics. The cleverly-named software package PampelMuse was presented by its author Sebastian Kamann (LJMU, UK) in his talk Crowded-field 3D spectroscopy with PampelMuse. This Python software performs PSF deblending on the integral-field data; several thousand sources can be deblended simultaneously. The final talk of this packed and fast-paced session was by Matteo Bachetti (INAF, IT) on Stingray, HENDRICS and Dave: Spectral Timing for all. Stingray is an AstroPy affiliated package that merges timing and spectral analysis for X-ray spectral timing. The idea for spectral timing arose in a meeting at Leiden University two years ago, where a team formed and started working on the project; the code is under active development. By combining Stingray with the HENDRICS (for shell scripting) and Dave codes (a GUI atop Stingray), the team will provide the community with a Python API (for the brave), a GUI to ease the learning curve, and shell scripting capabilities for batch processing, for advanced spectral timing with a correct statistical framework.

Slides from this session

MADCUBA and SLIM: A lightweight software package for datacube handling and spectral line analysis by Sergio Martin (pdf)

The next-generation cosmological code SWIFT by Mattheiu Schaller (pdf)

Stingray, HENDRICS and Dave: Spectral Timing for all by Matteo Bachetti (pdf)