Background/general reference

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Starting from the very beginning

How science works and other philosophical musings

Light beyond the visible -- There are a LOT of resources available all over the web on this, so just a few links listed here.

Archives -- what an archive is and why it's important.

Astronomers as people

Reference pages

Central wavelengths and zero points -- A reference page for bands frequently used in NITARP.

Units -- Reference page for units, including flux/flux density

Critically important concepts

Literature searching -- How can you find out what scientists already know about a particular astronomy topic or object? Literature searching is an essential part of doing scientific research.

Resolution -- spatial resolution matters!

Magnitudes -- brightnesses of astronomical things are often given in magnitudes.

FITS format -- professional astronomy images are usually in FITS format. If you're doing science, you shouldn't be using gifs, jpgs, pngs.

Mosaics -- Typically objects or regions in space we want to study are too large for the telescope to capture in a single image or frame, so the telescope has to take many frames which are combined using software into a single image or what is commonly called a mosaic (or sometimes a map).

Astronomical imaging -- includes color tables and stretches

Image artifacts


Photometry (concept) -- overview of what photometry is. (Mechanics of how to find other people's photometry or how to do your own photometry are in other pages.)

Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) -- a way of looking at the energy emitted by a given object at many wavelengths at once. SEDs are ubiquitous in IR astronomy.

Color-color and color-magnitude diagrams -- a way of looking at the brightnesses of up to 4 bands per object for many objects at once. Color-magnitude diagrams and color-color diagrams are ubiquitous in astronomy.

Color selection -- how to find types of objects using color-magnitude and color-color diagrams

Other concepts

Diffraction -- related to, but different from, resolution. Diffraction matters! The 'rings' you see around some Spitzer sources aren't the dust rings around those sources!

Confusion -- Depending on where you are looking and what wavelength you are using and specifically what you are doing, confusion can matter.

Infrared Background -- Depending on where you are looking and what wavelength you are using and specifically what you are doing, the IR background can matter.

Everything below this is a bookmark to something that needs to be cleaned up and placed properly above

Time Series Analysis

What is a periodogram? -- what periodograms are, why you care about them, and how to use the NASA Exoplanet Archive's tool for determining them.


need better title, sorting

Movie (31:09) on IR missions -- Dr. Luisa Rebull (2015)

Spitzer Space Telescope

How does the Spitzer Telescope work? A very general introduction to the Spitzer Space Telescope, with links to go to for more information. need to chase sublinks and file them

What other kinds of archival data are part of NITARP? A general introduction to all of the archives housed at IPAC that are part of NITARP.

Comparison of other missions to Spitzer (dated; need to update this!) need to chase sublinks and file them