What’s the deal with Scisoft? [Ask AstroBetter]

by Kelle February 19, 2013

Orsola from Oz has gotten in touch with AstroBetter and asked about the current state of Scisoft. For those not familiar, to me, Scisoft is a big installer that is the quick and dirty way of getting Python and IRAF installed on a Mac. I briefly looked into the current status of this package while […]


Read more →

One small step for a hiring committee…

by Laura Trouille October 30, 2012

An interesting post on the steps one mid-career scientist at a large public university has taken to impact his/her department’s hiring practice: Anonymous Guest-Post: One Small Step – Women in Astronomy


Read more →

Filtergraph: A Web-based Data Visualization Application

by Guest October 15, 2012

Dan Burger is a Computer Science graduate student at Vanderbilt University. He has been working with the Astroinformatics Group on how to dynamically handle and visualize large volumes of data. Datasets. If you work in astronomy, chances are you have them. They are hardly the romantic vision that you had when you decided to go into […]


Read more →

The Brown Dwarf Converter App for iOS

by Guest August 20, 2012

This is a guest post by Jonathan Gagné at Université de Montréal. Jonathan is a graduate student under direction of René Doyon and David Lafrenière. His research topics include the search for young brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and the development of methods for direct exoplanet imaging. When working with low-mass stars and brown […]


Read more →

SAOImage DS9: Version 7 Released

by Guest June 13, 2012

This is a guest post by William (Bill) Joye at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Bill is the primary writer and maintainer of the SAOImage DS9 tool. We are pleased to announce the availability of the new public release of SAOImage DS9 7.0.  More information about this package (including download links) is available at our website. […]


Read more →

iObserve: An Observer’s Perspective

by saurav May 23, 2012

It is time to look at iObserve again; since Cédric told us about it in September, I have used the App for three separate observing runs. So here is what I found out about iObserve as an end-user. In a few words, iObserve is a must-have for any observational astronomer. I would even recommend it for people who have […]


Read more →

Tools to write collaboratively

by Jane May 7, 2012

In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of collaboratively writing papers and proposals. Now, let’s talk tools to help you write collaboratively. This proposal season, I experimented with several different tools, and dragged my collaborators into the experiment. I tested out Google Docs (Kelle’s review),ScribTeX (Jane’s review), and Dropbox (Kelle’s review). There’s also ShareLaTeX, which I haven’t tried yet (Has anybody?  […]


Read more →

QR Codes to Enrich Posters

by Guest April 25, 2012

Gregory Mace is a Graduate Student at UCLA. He is part of the team developing MOSFIRE (the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration) and maintains the NIRSPEC Brown Dwarf Spectroscopic Survey online archive. The next time you prepare for a conference and think of printing copies of the poster or taking individual frames from videos of […]


Read more →

ArXivSorter: A Sorting Algorithm for Astro-ph

by saurav April 18, 2012

Overwhelmed by the large number of papers on astro-ph? Only have time to look at the relevant papers?  Or back from an internet-free vacation (what is that?) and want to find out what you missed?  Try ArXivSorter, which uses a friends-of-friends algorithm to sort the papers on astro-ph for you. Using an initial list of […]


Read more →

Python Installation and Ecosystem Tutorial

by Guest April 11, 2012

This is a guest post from Tom Aldcroft. Tom is an astrophysicist working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge MA. In addition to science research he has responsibilities supporting mission operations for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In both areas he uses Python on a daily basis and will gladly tell you about his […]


Read more →