Thursday, 1 August 2013

Astropy python library



In the past week, the main reference paper for the Astropy programming toolkit has been released. Quoting from that paper:


The Python programming language has become one of the fastest-growing programming languages in the astronomy community in the last decade. While there have been a number of efforts to develop Python packages for astronomy-specific functionality, these efforts have been fragmented, and several dozens of packages have been developed across the community with little or no coordination. This has led to duplication and a lack of homogeneity across packages, making it difficult for users to install all the required packages needed in an astronomer's toolkit. Because a number of these packages depend on individual or small groups of developers, packages are sometimes no longer maintained, or simply become unavailable, which is detrimental to long-term research and reproducibility.

Motivated by these issues, the Astropy project was started in 2011 out of a desire to bring together developers across the field of astronomy in order to coordinate the development of a common set of Python tools for astronomers and simplify the landscape of available packages. One of the primary aims of the Astropy project is to develop a core astropy package that covers much of the astronomy-specific functionality needed by researchers, complementing more general scienti c packages such as NumPy and SciPy, which are invaluable for numerical array-based calculations and more general scientific algorithms (e.g. interpolation, integration, clustering).

{Astropy}... covers units and unit conversions, absolute dates and times, celestial coordinates, tabular and gridded data, common astronomical file formats world coordinate system transformations, and cosmological utilities


More information can be found on the Astropy website: http://www.astropy.org/

Or from the reference paper itself: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.6212

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