2019 June

June 29, 2019: Color filter approximations

A new python package called tynt

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: introducting 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!

Check out the docs to get started, or the code to contribute!

June 28, 2019: Google Summer of Code

Working with the tenacious Tiffany Jansen

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.

June 27, 2019: Hello world!

A simple first post

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.