Research Blogs: Sharing results as they happen

by Kelle March 19, 2012

I’ve started something new in my research group (which is co-led by Emily Rice): we are blogging our science results as they happen. Individual plots and incremental progress and insights. A curated, collaborative lab notebook. I haven’t posted anything yet, but the students have: BDNYC Research Blog. This idea was inspired by Hogg’s Research, where […]


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Bayesian Inference in Python

by Jessica Lu February 24, 2012

Observational astronomers don’t simply present images or spectra, we analyze the data and use it to support or contradict physical models. A key aspect of data analysis is understanding the certainty of claims that are made. Thus using statistics is a fundamental part of observational astronomy. Statistical inference is one method of drawing conclusions, and establishing […]


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Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL)

by Guest September 2, 2011

You don’t know me, but if you’ve written an astrophysics code useful for producing published results, I’d like to know you, or at least know of your code. I’m Alice Allen, primary editor of the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL). The ASCL is a free online reference library of (wait for it…. ) …yes! Astrophysics […]

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Visualizing Simulated Data

by Jessica Lu June 9, 2011

More and more astronomers are writing, running, and using massive computer simulations. The complexity of these simulations (often 3D space + time) means that visualization can be challenging. Over at Astropython, they have posted about the – yt – toolkit that allows you to analyze and visualize the results of adaptive mesh refinement simulation codes (AMR). AMR […]


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IRSA takes over Spitzer archive

by Guest April 14, 2011

Luisa Rebull is a Research Scientist at the Spitzer Science Center at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech. She is the Archive Scientist for Spitzer, and has been working on the development of the Spitzer Heritage Achive. There are two important recent developments in the Spitzer world: (1) the handover to IRSA […]


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Wiki Upgrade and New Page on Stellar Evolution and Atmosphere Models

by Jessica Lu April 1, 2011

Wiki Upgrade Some of you may have noticed that the wiki appearance has changed. This is because we have upgraded the wiki to the latest and greatest version of TikiWiki (6.2). Some of the functionality, especially wiki editing, should be greatly improved. We are still in the process of importing all of our stylistic customizations […]


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How to Turn an ASCII Table into an SDSS spectrum? [Ask AstroBetter]

by Kelle January 18, 2011

[title revised Jan 19] Since Jane’s questions have proved to be very popular and useful posts, we’ve decided to make “Ask AstroBetter” a regular feature. Continuing on the theme of spectral analysis, Eilat asks, Is there a straightforward way to take a table of wavelength, flux, error spanning the same range as SDSS spectra and […]


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Recent AstroStatistics Papers

by Jessica Lu December 27, 2010

For many astronomers, statistics is an integral part of our analysis procedure; yet, we typically get very little formal training in this area. Recently, several astro-statistics papers have been posted on astro-ph that specifically address some of the unique attributes of astronomical data (small numbers of data points, frequent systematic errors or outliers, non-linear models, […]


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Unintentional Biases, Band-Wagon Effects, and the Weaknesses of the Scientific Method

by Kelle December 17, 2010

Rethinking the scientific method | The New Yorker (subscription required, unfortunately) Extremely disturbing article about well-intentioned scientists’ experiments and conclusions gone awry. Most upsetting is the lack of reproducibility in many important studies and the likelihood that those works don’t get published. The disturbing implication of his study is that a lot of extraordinary scientific […]


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Topcat: Leader of the Catalogue Manipulation Gang

by Guest September 20, 2010

This is a guest post—featuring our first screencast!—from Niall Deacon who studies brown dwarfs and white dwarfs in the Pan-STARRS survey at the University of Hawai`i. Niall also blogs about astronomy at weareallinthegutter. If you are drowning in search windows from different data archives and wasting time writing code to plot graphs of the simplest […]


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