Skill development

From CoolWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Critically Important Skills

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! This page has information both on searching and reading literature.

Finding FITS files -- using tools such as IRSA Viewer or Skyview to find FITS images online

Viewing FITS files -- using tools (e.g., IRSA tools or ds9) to view and manipulate FITS images right now color images are here, but this should probably be its own page

Photometry (finding it) needs to be vastly fleshed out

dealing with data tables - Excel, Topcat Adding a trend line to SEDs Manipulating Numerical Data and Applying Rules to Create Lists and Plots with Excel


need to include references to background/reference pages.. well, really, throughout this wiki

Additional Skills

Proposal writing - It doesn't matter if you have come up with the most brilliant idea of all time, if you can't explain why it's important, you won't get the resources you need to do it.

Resolution Skills

Measuring distances

Making SEDs

Making CMDs and color-color diagrams

Poster writing and presenting


Advanced Skills

Single-epoch data

Photometry (doing it)

Merging catalogs - needed

Making Mosaics Using MONTAGE -- MONTAGE is a software package that allows you to make mosaics from any set of astronomical images. This page last modified 2010; likely out of date

Using MaxIm DL -- MaxIM DL is popular software in the amateur community. This page has tutorial videos from John Blackwell (Exeter; NITARP alum), 2011.

Time Series Data

Studying Variable Stars - rich page, need to pull apart and sort/integrate better

IRSA Viewer Timeseries tool ZTF, WISE, K2 data.

Accessing Kepler and CoRoT data Kepler and CoRoT data are much more than just exoplanets, but of course they're in here too. This page last modified 2010; likely out of date.

Movie tutorials for Kepler data -- These were created by John Blackwell (Exeter; NITARP alum) for one of the 2011 NITARP teams. Note that the NASA Exoplanet Archive interface has changed since these were made, but hopefully things are still clear.

  • http://youtu.be/3r0ltH9Ixg0 -- searching the Kepler database, obtaining light curves, periodograms, and interpreting the periodograms. (~4 min)
  • http://youtu.be/lzrtQSxwajg -- more on Kepler light curves and periodograms, and how to do more sophisticated investigation of the light curves using the NASA Exoplanet Archive tools. (~8 min)


Everything below here is basically just bookmarks to pages; everything needs to be sorted and reorganized and possibly updated


Manipulating Numerical Data and Applying Rules to Create Lists and Plots with Excel


tutorial from Ciardi 2012 on finding data

all the pytuts things

How do I download data from Spitzer? Spitzer has its own archive for downloading and viewing data. Go here for more information.

How do I download data from WISE? WISE has its own archive for downloading and viewing both images and catalogs. Go here for more information.

How do I download data from IRSA, NED, or the NASA Exoplanet Archive? This is a very open-ended question! IRSA, NED, and the NASA Exoplanet Archive all serve a lot of different data from a lot of different missions, surveys, and investigations. There's no one answer that will work for everything. Please see What other kinds of archival data are part of NITARP? for a general introduction. Each archive has a search page to start from, and most datasets have lots of online help.

How can I get data from other wavelengths to compare with infrared data from Spitzer? This link describes getting images and catalogs from other wavelengths. Don't forget the "Questions to think about and things to try" at the bottom of that page.

How can I make a color composite image using Spitzer and/or other data? Have you ever wondered how scientists create those beautiful images of objects in space? After all when you look at deep space objects through an optical telescope they appear pretty much grey. Well, here's your chance to explore a bit of astronomy art. Not only can you make "pretty pictures" but these composite images can reveal important scientific data. Click on this link and explore how to make 3-color (or more!) composite images with publicly-available tools. Start doing science with the images you create by trying the "Questions to think about and things to try" at the bottom of the linked page.


Making a simple mosaic (with Spitzer data and tools) This page describes how to make a simple mosaic by combining post-BCD mosaics from more than 1 AOR into one large mosaic.


All the NITARP videos in one place Just for reference! NITARP tutorials