Have you ever wished there was a filter transmission curve package that just knew
approximately what the filter transmittance curve looks like without having to figure out
where on the internet someone once uploaded the transmittance curve? Well look no further:
tynt, a lightweight
Python package for approximate transmittance curves from various astronomical filters.
tynt makes use of filter transmittance curves provided by the
Spanish Virtual Observatory Filter Profile
Service. I've downloaded 500 of the "most common" astronomical filters used
for photometry, took the Fourier transforms of the filter transmittance curves, and saved the first
N complex Fourier coefficients (where N is of order 10). These complex Fourier coefficients
get saved to a FITS table within the package, totalling no more than 150 KB. That makes it small enough
that the filter transmittance approximations can be included as package data without being a pain to
install or hogging your disk space.
I could use some help coming up with the most inclusive list of ~500 filters that get used most often for photometry. Let me know if your subfield's favorite filter isn't included by default and should be!
Since participating as a student in 2015, I've been a mentor in the Google Summer of Code internship program with OpenAstronomy (via Astropy) for two of the last four summers. This summer I'm co-advising Columbia grad student Tiffany Jansen along with Erik Tollerud and Pey Lian Lim (STScI).
The project we're working on is to make documentation and pull requests when necessary to make
synthetic photometry easier to do in Python. For me, this was largely inspired by preparing for
observations with new space telescopes, but we're working on a more generalized toolkit which
can handle the Earth's atmosphere with relative ease. The coding efforts will largely be focused
on the existing synthetic photometry package
synphot. To see what
we're working on in real time, visit Tiffany's GSoC blog.
If you know me, you know I like to keep a lot of irons in the fire. This blog will be yet another iron. Predicting what I'll post in this blog is probably premature, but it will chronicle code, astrophysics, collaborations, and ideas I'm looking to share with all of you.