Astrophysics Source Code Library

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Web Resources and Tools

Resources such as programming language sites, specific code blogs and general blogs related to coding are listed here.

Tools are listed in alphabetical order. Questions? Comments? Ideas? Tools, blogs, or other informational resources which should be listed? Please reply to this page to add them. Thank you!

Table of contents

ÆSOPUS: Low-temperature Rosseland Mean Opacities on Demand (added 9/11/11)
AKARI-CAS: Online Service for AKARI All-Sky Catalogues (added 7/18/11)
ALMA OST: ALMA Observation Support Tool (added 7/18/11)
CosmoCalc: Times and Distances as a Function of Redshift (added 7/21/11)
CasJobs: Catalog Archive Server Jobs System (added 5/9/15)

CSCview: A Graphical User Interface to the Chandra Source Catalog (added 2/20/13)
ExoVis: Exosystem Visualizer (added 05/10/13)
Filtergraph: Interactive portals for ASCII datasets (added 10/16/12)
GELATO: GEneric cLAssification TOol for Supernova spectra (added 10/6/12)
HMFcalc: An online Halo Mass Function calculator (added 01/26/15)

MESA-Web: Online web interface for MESA (added 06/11/2016)
NASA Exoplanet Archive (added 8/3/13)
PaperScope: Graphic exploration of ADS (added 7/2/12)
SOAP: Spot Oscillation And Planet (added 8/24/12)
SpectroWeb: An Interactive Graphical Database of Digital Stellar Spectral Atlases (added 7/7/12)

STARLIGHT CasJobs Interface (added 7/21/2011)
StarView: Astronomical Database Browser (added 7/28/12)
Synthetic HB Generator (added 9/11/11)
TESELA: Virtual Observatory Tool to Determine Blank Fields for Astronomical Observations (added 7/21/11)
Time Utilities (added 6/25/12)

TRILEGAL: Populations synthesis code for simulating stellar photometry (added 3/17/13)
VisIVOWeb: A WWW Environment for Large-Scale Astrophysical Visualization (added 6/25/11)
VizieR: Database of Astronomical Catalogues (added 9/18/11)
Web Hera (added 10/9/11)

ÆSOPUS: Low-temperature Rosseland Mean Opacities on Demand

Abstract: We introduce a new tool - AESOPUS: Accurate Equation of State and OPacity Utility Software - for computing the equation of state and the Rosseland mean (RM) opacities of matter in the ideal gas phase. Results are given as a function of one pair of state variables, (i.e. temperature T in the range 3.2 <= log(T) <= 4.5, and parameter R= rho/(T/10^6 K)^3 in the range -8 <= log(R) <= 1), and arbitrary chemical mixture. The chemistry is presently solved for about 800 species, consisting of almost 300 atomic and 500 molecular species. The gas opacities account for many continuum and discrete sources, including atomic opacities, molecular absorption bands, and collision-induced absorption. Several tests made on AESOPUS have proved that the new opacity tool is accurate in the results,flexible in the management of the input prescriptions, and agile in terms of computational time requirement. A web interface enables the user to compute and shortly retrieve RM opacity tables according to his/her specific needs, allowing a full degree of freedom in specifying the chemical composition of the gas. Useful applications may regard RM opacities of gas mixtures with i) scaled-solar abundances of metals, choosing among various solar mixture compilations available in the literature; ii) varying CNO abundances, suitable for evolutionary models of red and asymptotic giant branch stars and massive stars in the Wolf-Rayet stages; iii) various degrees of enhancement in alpha-elements, and C-N, Na-O and Mg-Al abundance anti-correlations, necessary to properly describe the properties of stars in early-type galaxies and Galactic globular clusters; iv) zero-metal abundances appropriate for studies of gas opacity in primordial conditions.

Credit: Paola Marigo, Bernhard Aringer


AKARI-CAS: Online Service for AKARI All-Sky Catalogues

Abstract: The AKARI All-Sky Catalogues are an important infrared astronomical database for next-generation astronomy that take over the IRAS catalog. The AKARI Catalogue Archive Server (AKARI-CAS) service includes useful and attractive search tools and visual tools, including:

  • cached SIMBAD/NED entries, which can match AKARI catalogs with other catalogs stored in SIMBAD or NED
  • support for direct input of SQL to allow advanced queries to the databases
  • fast dynamic cross-identification between registered catalogs through queries
  • visualization tools which provide multiwavelength quick-look images

Credit: C. Yamauchi, S. Fujishima, N. Ikeda, K. Inada, M. Katano, H. Kataza, S. Makiuti, K. Matsuzaki, S. Takita, Y. Yamamoto, I. Yamamura


ALMA OST: ALMA Observation Support Tool

Abstract: The ALMA Observation Support Tool (OST) is an ALMA simulator which is interacted with solely via a standard web browser. It is aimed at users who may or may not be experts in interferometry, or those that do not wish to familarise themselves with the simulation components of a data reduction package. It has been designed to offer full imaging simulation capability for an arbitrary ALMA observation while maintaining the accessibility of other online tools such as the ALMA Sensitivity Calculator. Simulation jobs are defined by selecting and entering options on a standard web form. The user can specify the standard parameters that would need to be considered for an ALMA observation (e.g. pointing direction, frequency set up, duration), and there is also the option to upload arbitrary sky models in FITS format. Once submitted, jobs are sequentially processed by a remote server running a CASA-based back-end system. The user is notified by email when the job is complete, and directed to a standard web page which contains the results of the simulation and a range of downloadable data products. The system is currently hosted by the UK ALMA Regional Centre.

Credit: The OST Team


CasJobs: Catalog Archive Server Jobs System

Abstract: CasJobs is an online workbench for large scientific catalogs, designed to emulate and enhance local free-form query access in a web environment. Its features include synchronous and asynchronous query execution; a query 'History' that records queries and their status; a server-side, personalized user database, enabling persistant table/function/procedure creation; data sharing between users; data download in various formats; and multiple interface options.

Credit: Nolan Li, Ani Thakar, William O'Mullane


CosmoCalc: Times and Distances as a Function of Redshift

Abstract: A cosmology calculator that computes times and distances as a function of redshift for user-defined cosmological parameters has been made available online. This paper gives the formulae used by the cosmology calculator and discusses some of its implementation. A version of the calculator that allows one to specify the equation-of-state parameter w and w', and one for converting the light-travel times usually given in the popular press into redshifts, is also located at the same site.

Credit: Edward L. Wright


CSCview: A Graphical User Interface to the Chandra Source Catalog

Abstract: CSCview is a GUI application which provides direct access to the contents of the catalog via user-specified queries. Search criteria and desired results are specified using the source properties contained in the catalog, which are split into two categories: Master Source properties and Source Observation properties. CSCview provides access to the current database of the catalog - which includes the most recently processed data sets which have not yet been included in the next catalog release - as well as catalog releases, which are carefully reviewed, static versions of the CSC.

Credit: D. van Stone, P. Harbo, M. Tibbetts, P. Zografou


ExoVis: Exosytem Visualizer

Abstract: ExoVis visualizes all discovered planetary systems using HTML5, Javascript and PHP. The website allows the user to search for planetary systems, study their orbital parameters and compare them to other systems. Data for the visualizations are pulled from the Open Exoplanet Catalogue. This site won the 2013 Open Exoplanet Catalogue visualization contest.

Credit: Tom Hands


Filtergraph: Interactive portals for ASCII datasets

Abstract: Filtergraph is a web application for transforming ASCII datasets into interactive data portals. Filtergraph can generate scatter plots, histograms, and tables instantly. It allows the user to interact directly with the data, is flexible enough to handle data of all types and sizes and to save to various formats, including PNG, JPEG, GIF, PDF, PostScript, HTML, and ASCII.

Credit: Dan Burger


GELATO: GEneric cLAssification TOol for Supernova spectra

Abstract: GELATO (GEneric cLAssification TOol) is a software for objective classification of Supernova (SN) spectra. GELATO performs an automatic comparison of a given (input) spectrum with a set of well-studied SN spectra (templates), in order to find the template spectrum that is most similar to the given one.

Credit: Harutyunyan, A. H.; Pfahler, P.; Pastorello, A.; Taubenberger, S.; Turatto, M.; Cappellaro, E.; Benetti, S.; Elias-Rosa, N.; Navasardyan, H.; Valenti, S.; Stanishev, V.; Patat, F.; Riello, M.; Pignata, G.; Hillebrandt, W.


HMFcalc: An online Halo Mass Function calculator

Abstract: The web application HMFcalc calculates the Halo Mass Function. It is written by Steven Murray with others at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). The calculation backend for this web-app, HMF (ascl:1412.006, is written in Python and is made open-source via github.

Credit: Murray, Steven, with others at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).


MESA-Web: Online web interface for MESA

Abstract: MESA-Web is an online web interface for MESA (ascl:1010.083) and can be used for education and research purposes to calculate stellar models. It allows users to evolve stellar models with initial rotational values from 0 (non-rotating) to 50% that of Keplerian critical (break-up) angular frequency.

Credit: Fields, Carl; Koehler, Brendan; Timmes, Frank


NASA Exoplanet Archive

Abstract: The NASA Exoplanet Archive is a database and web toolset which includes interactive tables containing properties of all published exoplanets, Kepler planet candidates, threshold-crossing events, data validation reports and target stellar parameters, light curves from the Kepler and CoRoT missions and from several ground-based surveys, and spectra and radial velocity measurements from the literature. The provided web tools work with these data, and include a transit ephemeris predictor, both for single planets and for observing locations, light curve viewing and normalization utilities, and a periodogram and phased light curve service. The site also offers multiple bulk data download options.

Credit: R. L. Akeson, X. Chen, D. Ciardi, M. Crane, J. Good, M. Harbut, E. Jackson, S. R. Kane, A. C. Laity, S. Leifer, M. Lynn, D. L. McElroy, M. Papin, P. Plavchan, S. V. Ramírez, R. Rey, K. von Braun, M. Wittman, M. Abajian, B. Ali, C. Beichman, A. Beekley, G. B. Berriman, S. Berukoff, G. Bryden, B. Chan, S. Groom, C. Lau, A. N. Payne, M. Regelson, M. Saucedo, M. Schmitz, J. Stauffer, P. Wyatt and A. Zhang


PaperScope: Graphic exploration of ADS

Abstract:PaperScope is a tool for graphically exploring the Astrophysics Data System (ADS). PaperScope is extremely useful for identifying the citation/reference relationships between papers, and enables the user to visualize these relationships to make locating papers of interest easier. It can be used for constructing reference or citation chains as well as identifying common references/citations between several key papers. It is designed to simplify the process of searching for relevant papers for an astrophysics researcher whether a professor, post doc, or student.

Credit: Brian Walshe


SOAP: Spot Oscillation And Planet

Abstract: SOAP (Spot Oscillation And Planet) is a software tool that simulates the effect of stellar spots and plages on rotating stars and computes their impact on radial velocimetry and photometric measurements. It also computes the main spectroscopic diagnostic to monitor stellar activity: the bisector span (BIS), calculated as defined by Queloz et al. (2001), and delivers a model of the CCF that is equivalent to the mean line of the spectrum. SOAP enables a fast computation of the spot position and geometry.

Credit: I. Boisse, X. Bonfils, N.C. Santos


SpectroWeb: An Interactive Graphical Database of Digital Stellar Spectral Atlases

Abstract: SpectroWeb is an online maintained interactive graphical database of digital spectral atlases of spectral standard stars. It is an efficient and user-friendly research tool for accurate analyses of stellar spectra observed with large spectral resolution, including the solar spectrum.

Credit: Alex Lobel, Tom Hendrix, Pierrick De Poorter


STARLIGHT CasJobs Interface

Abstract: CasJobs is an online workbench for large scientific catalogs, designed to emulate and enhance local free-form query access in a web environment. Here you will find the followingcatalogs:

  • STARLIGHT Database: Schema
  • GALEX photometric data for STARLIGHT database
  • Galaxy Zoo catalogues
  • Photometric redshifts and K-corrections for SDSS-DR7

Credit: The SEAGal Team


StarView: Astronomical Database Browser

Abstract: StarView is an astronomical database browser and research analysis tool. Developed in Java, StarView provides an easy to use, highly capable user interface that runs on any Java enabled platform as a standalone application.

Credit: STScI development team


Synthetic HB Generator

Abstract: This Horizontal Branch Synthesis Program calculates the photometric properties of HB stars in old stellar populations. The code employs the theoretical tracks provided in the BaSTI archive. At the moment the HB mass distribution is assumed to be Gaussian, while photometric errors are not yet taken into account.

The user needs to specify the following parameters:

  • mean HB mass
  • 1sigma dispersion of the Gaussian Distribution
  • metallicity
  • heavy element mixture: scaled solar or alpha-enhanced, and
  • the photometric system.

The output provides magnitudes and properties of the objects within the RR Lyrae instability strip. For stars located in the "OR" region - where both fundamental and first overtone pulsational mode can be stable - the code provides the fundamental mode pulsation period.

The output summarizes also the total number of blue HB stars - those located on the blue side of the RR Lyrae instability strip -, red HB stars - those located at an effective temperature lower than the Red Edge of the RR Lyrae instability strip, and Asymptotic Giant Branch stars. This server-side tool is robust and fast.

Credit: A. Pietrinferni, S. Cassisi, D. Cordier, and M. Salaris


TESELA: Virtual Observatory Tool to Determine Blank Fields for Astronomical Observations

Abstract: The observation of blank fields, regions of the sky devoid of stars down to a given threshold magnitude, constitutes one of the typical important calibration procedures required for the proper reduction of astronomical data obtained in imaging mode. This work describes a method, based on the use of the Delaunay triangulation on the surface of a sphere, that allows the easy generation of blank fields catalogues. In addition to that, a new tool named TESELA, accessible through the WEB, has been created to facilitate the user to retrieve, and visualise using the VO-tool Aladin, the blank fields available near a given position in the sky.

Credit: Department of Astrophysics of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and CAB (INTA-CSIC)


Time Utilities

Abstract: These online applets can convert a list of UTCs to Barycentric Julian Dates in Barycentric Dynamical Time (BJD_TDB), Barycentric Julian Dates in Barycentric Dynamical Time (BJD_TDB) to Julian Dates in UTC, and Heliocentric Julian Dates to Barycentric Julian Dates.

Credit: Jason Eastman


TRILEGAL: Populations synthesis code for simulating stellar photometry

Abstract: TRILEGAL is a populations synthesis code for simulating the stellar photometry of any Galaxy field. The code deals with very complete input libraries of evolutionary tracks, uses a stellar spectral library to simulate the photometry in virtually any broad-band system, and is very versatile in allowing easy changes in the input libraries and in the description of all of its ingredients, such as star formation rate, age-metallicity relation, initial mass function, and geometry of Galaxy components.

Credit: L. Girardi, M.A.T. Groenewegen, E. Hatziminaoglou, L. da Costa


VisIVOWeb: A WWW Environment for Large-Scale Astrophysical Visualization

Abstract: VisIVOWeb is a newly developed Web portal that aims to provide the astrophysical community with powerful visualization tools for large-scale data sets in the context of Web 2.0. VisIVOWeb can effectively handle modern numerical simulations and real-world observations. Our open-source software is based on established visualization toolkits offering high-quality rendering algorithms. The underlying data management is discussed with the supported visualization interfaces and movie-making functionality. We introduce VisIVOWeb Network, a robust network of customized Web portals for visual discovery, and VisIVOWeb Connect, a lightweight and efficient solution for seamlessly connecting to existing astrophysical archives. A significant effort has been devoted for ensuring interoperability with existing tools by adhering to IVOA standards.

Credit: A. Costa, U. Becciani, P. Massimino, M. Krokos, G. Caniglia, C. Gheller, A. Grillo, F. Vitello


VizieR: Database of Astronomical Catalogues

Abstract: VizieR is a database grouping in an homogeneous way thousands of astronomical catalogues gathered for decades by the Centre de Donnees de Strasbourg (CDS) and participating institutes. Several query interfaces are currently available, making use of the ASU protocol, for browsing purposes or for use by other data processing systems such as visualisation tools.

Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)


Web Hera

Abstract: The HEASARC at NASA/GSFC has provided an on-line astronomical data processing system called Hera for several years. Hera provides a complete data processing environment, including installed software packages, local data storage, and the CPU resources needed to process the user's data. The original design of Hera, however, has 2 requirements that has limited its usefulness for some users, namely, that 1) the user must download and install a small helper program on their own computer before using Hera, and 2) Hera requires that several computer ports/sockets be allowed to communicate through any local firewalls on the user's machine. Both of these restrictions can be problematic for some users, therefore we are now migrating Hera into a purely Web based environment which only requires a standard Web browser. Web Hera currently provides a standard graphical interface for running hundreds of different data processing programs that are available in the HEASARC's ftools software package.

Credit: William Pence and the Hera Development Team