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 […]


Read more →

Making RGB images from FITS files with python/matplotlib.

by Jessica Lu October 22, 2010

Converting astronomical data taken in multiple filters into representative-color RGB images often provides one of the most visually appealing (and informative) views of a target. This can be done in ds9 very easily; however, if you want a little more control, then python/matplotlib can be used in a very similar fashion. I also note that […]


Read more →

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 […]


Read more →

Links: Linear Fits to Data, the Ideal Salary, History of OS X, and More.

by Kelle September 14, 2010

Scientific hubris, or: Everything you thought you knew about straight line fits is wrong | SarahAskew “In a paper posted to the Arxiv in late August, David Hogg of NYU and his collaborators take us to task on our sloppy data fitting habits. And he’s not in the mood to mince his words.” Career Advice: […]


Read more →

Parallel Processing in Python

by Guest August 9, 2010

Today we have a guest post by Ian Crossfield (UCLA) on parallel computing with python. When analyzing astronomical data, one often finds oneself repeating the same tasks over and over again (e.g. fitting a model to a PSF, measuring the width of a spectral feature, etc.). Sometimes the results of one computation influence the next, […]


Read more →

Links: Computing Upper Limits, Writing, Teaching, New Macs, IDL, and More.

by Kelle July 30, 2010

World’s Biggest Particle Physics Lab May Idle All Accelerators in 2012 | Science Insider On Computing Upper Limits to Source Intensities | IOP Science: ApJ Productivity, Writing, and Teaching Writing IS Thinking | Inside Higher Ed “If writing is thinking, then you don’t have to wait until you’re done reading, analyzing data, or figuring everything […]


Read more →

Manipulating and Viewing FITS Files in Python with pyds9

by Jessica Lu July 14, 2010

For anyone who uses python and ds9 to visualize their FITS files, I think pyds9 is now a must-have. It is officially written and developed through SAOImage ds9 so it will be supported for the long haul. Here are the primary links to get going: TARball for installation: Source Documentation for installation and use: Docs […]


Read more →

Links: Dark Matter, AstroPy, Writing, and More

by Kelle January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Dark Matter Tools Website | Via Cosmic Variance US LHC Blog » Who will pay for the arXiv? | Cornell to ask for voluntary donations from heaviest user institutions. BetterTouchTool Customizes Your Mac’s Multitouch Gestures | Lifehacker AstroPy Info Page | Mailing list for Astronomers interested in Python. It’s […]

{ 1 comment }

Read more →