All the NITARP videos in one place

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See also NITARP tutorial page for just the subset of these longer more general videos.


New for recruiting starting with the class of 2013, we have a 3-minute advertisement for NITARP

Intro to using the wiki

These were created to help all NITARP participants learn what the wiki is for and how to use it (for learning or contributing).

Bonus points if you can find the place in one of these videos where my cat meows.

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: Guide to NITARP participants for use of the wiki)

Searching the literature

In order to find what you need out of the literature, you need to search both ADS and SIMBAD. This video shows you how. Developed for one of Luisa's NITARP teams.

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: How can I find out what scientists already know about a particular astronomy topic or object?)

Getting plain text (or IPAC table files) into Excel

Much of the files that astronomers work with are plain text, which astronomers read into their own code (and spit back out from their code) with ease. If you don't program but still want to work with these files, you can read them into Excel and do calculations and plots from that platform. But you have to get them into Excel first. (Developed for one of Luisa's NITARP teams.)

Getting updated coordinates and checking images

If you have a paper in the literature that was done in the 1970s or earlier (even, for some papers, later), chances are excellent that the coordinates as reported in the literature are not as precise as you need them to be for working with 2MASS, Spitzer, and/or WISE data. How do you get better coordinates for these objects? (Developed for one of Luisa's NITARP teams.)

As part of this process of getting updated coordinates, you might want to actually check the images. This is always a good idea. (Developed for one of Luisa's NITARP teams.)

Using the Spitzer Heritage Archive

These videos were developed with professional astronomers in mind, but they probably are ok for you too!

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: How do I download data from Spitzer?)

Developed for NITARP: Why do you get 'extra' data with some Spitzer observations? (Developed for one of Luisa's NITARP teams.)

Using the WISE archive

  • This page includes all of the videos developed by IRSA for professional astronomers using WISE. I am linking to this page rather than the videos directly because (a) they are developed by other people here at IPAC, not necessarily me; (b) more are planned soon.

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: How do I download data from WISE?)


The Aperture Photometry Tool (APT) was originally developed in the context of NITARP teams learning how to do photometry on Spitzer images. APT can be used to do aperture photometry on nearly any FITS image. (This video was developed for Luisa's 2011 NITARP team.)

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: Photometry and I'm ready to go on to a more advanced discussion of photometry)

Background astrophysics

(Corresponding wiki page with additional information: SED plots)

Using ds9

On ds9 regions files:

ds9 Tutorials from Babar:

NITARP Tutorial: Part 1: ds9 overview - what is ds9, etc (10.5 min); Part 2: the first half of the ds9 demo - getting it started, basics of usage (19 min); Part 3: the second half of the ds9 demo - more advanced tips and tricks (25 min)

Using MaxIm DL

MaxIm DL is software that is very popular among the amateur community, and by extension, can often be found in classrooms. It is not free software. In 2011, NITARP teacher John Blackwell developed and kindly donated many training videos for learning how to use MaxIm DL. They are all linked from the Using MaxIm DL page.

Using Kepler Data

These were created by John Blackwell (Exeter) for one of the 2011 NITARP teams. Note that they were developed using an earlier version of the NASA Exoplanet Archive's interface, but should still be helpful.

  • -- searching the Kepler database, obtaining light curves, periodograms, and interpreting the periodograms. (~4 min)
  • -- more on Kepler light curves and periodograms, and how to do more sophisticated investigation of the light curves using the NASA Exoplanet Archive's tools. (~8 min)