[AstroPy] Python version of IDL Astron library

W.T. Bridgman William.T.Bridgman.1 at gsfc.nasa.gov
Tue Sep 7 14:52:01 CDT 2004

<x-flowed>I have some coordinate transformation stuff - though not entirely 
complete/consistent - that I use for my Sun-Earth Connection work 
(geocentric/heliocentric/ecliptic).  I've been experimenting with a 
python wrapper for the cxform coordinate conversion library (in C) 
which partially works for Sun-Earth coordinate systems.  I believe I 
may even have an AITOFF re-projection routine from some experiments 
with BATSE data(!!).  More recently, I've been cleaning up my UTCclass 
for managing UTC times.

Are we looking for pure-python solutions or are mixed python/C 
solutions acceptable?

Big trick would be trying to 'normalize' them so they work together 
well, calling other components of the module when needed.

My $0.02 worth,

On Sep 7, 2004, at 3:09 PM, Paul Barrett wrote:

> Dear Astro-pythoneers,
> As part of my functional duties at STScI, I have been tasked with 
> developing a Python version of the IDL Astron Library, at least the 
> most relevant parts of it. I began with a rewrite of the IDLDB module 
> last winter, however I have not been able to complete it due to other 
> higher priority projects, namely matplotlib development and CALSTIS 
> maintainance.  While at the SciPy 2004 Conference at CalTech last week 
> (Sep 2-3), Lee Rottler and Joe Harrington suggested that a good 
> mechanism to get astronomers to migrate from IDL to Python would be a 
> Python version of the IDL Astron library .  After further discussion, 
> it was decided that I would solicit help from the AstroPy community 
> and would coordinate such a project.
> The IDL Astronomy User's Library 
> (http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/contents.html) web page lists 18 
> software categories, however in my opinion, only 8 of them have 
> functions or procedures that are of current interest to astronomers 
> and have not already been duplicated by other Python modules.  The 
> FITS procedures are a good example, since most, if not all, of this 
> functionality is duplicated in the pyfits module.  I have identified 
> the following categories as requiring attention:
>  o Astronomical Utilities
>  o DAOPHOT-Type Photometry Procedures
>  o Database Procedures
>  o Disk I/O (MIDAS, IRAF files)
>  o Image Manipulation
>  o Math and Statistics
>  o Robust Statistics Procedures
>  o Miscellaneous (Non-Astronomy) Procedures
> I have refrained from listing the procedures in each category, since 
> there are a large number of them.  Instead, I will add a page to the 
> AstroPy web site in the next few days, if there is sufficient interest 
> in the project by the AstroPy community.  I do not expect developers 
> to devote are large percentage of their time to this project, unless 
> they want to of course, but to contribute two or three procedures that 
> are of interest to them over the next year.  I will coordinate the 
> integration of these procedures into a Python package and check that 
> the necessary documentation and test code has been included.
> Any takers?
>  -- Paul
> -- 
> Paul Barrett, PhD      Space Telescope Science Institute
> Phone: 410-338-4475    ESS/Science Software Branch
> FAX:   410-338-4767    Baltimore, MD 21218
> _________________________________________________
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Dr. William T."Tom" Bridgman               Scientific Visualization 
Global Science & Technology, Inc.          NASA/Goddard Space Flight 
Email: William.T.Bridgman.1 at gsfc.nasa.gov  Code 935
Phone: 301-286-1346                        Greenbelt, MD 20771
FAX:   TBD                                 http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/

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