Unix-like shells on Windows

" This post gives some notes onways to create a Unix-like command line experience on Windows, without usinga virtual machine like VMWare or a quasi-virtual machine like Cygwin. Finding Windows ports of Unix utilities is easy. The harder part is finding a shell that behaves as expected. (Of course as expected depends on your expec... View More

Data, code, and regulation

" Data is code and code is data. The distinction between software (code) and input (data) is blurry at best, arbitrary at worst. And this distinction, or lack thereof, has interesting implications for regulation. In some contexts software is regulated but data is not, or at least software comes under different regulations than da... View More

Subway map of the solar system

" This is a thumbnail version of a large, high-resolution image by Ulysse Carion. Thanks to Aleksey Shipilv ( @shipilev ) for pointing it out. Its hard to see in the thumbnail, but the map gives the change in velocity needed at each branch point.You can find the full 2239 x 2725 pixel image here or click on the thumbnai... View More

The Starchive: An open access, open source database of the nearest stars and beyond

" Angelle Tanner is an assistant professor at Mississippi State University with interests in multiple methods of exoplanet detection and characterization. Situation 1: You make a preliminary list of target stars using SIMBAD and then follow up with a tedious search through Vizier and individual papers for all the additional... View More

Sherpa is an open community project

From the Sherpa team:On April 20, 2015 Sherpa became an Open Source project!  The source code repository is now on GitHub.   The project repository can be 'cloned'  allowing for development of  the new code, new extensions  or bug fixes.  The Sherpa Project welcomes contributions via GitHub.Sherpa is a modeling and fitting ap... View More

Fabric Conference Posters FTW!

" Emily Rice is an assistant professor at the College of Staten Island and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. She is also responsible for those parody songs that get stuck in your head. Dearest Colleagues, I have printed my last paper conference poster and carried my last poster ... View More

Effective Computation in Physics (with Python of course!)

Great new book out in early release ebook format at http://physics.codes!Here's the blurb:"Finally! Effective Computation in Physics is a manual forstarting up or honing your programming and software skills eventhough your background is in the physical sciences orengineering. This book is your field guide to comp... View More

Details and discussion about impending changes to ApJ and AJ

" During AAS225 in Seattle , there was an announcement about changes coming to the AAS Journals : Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and the Astronomical Journal (AJ). These changes include lots of awesome things such as linking articles directly to data archives, providing for video abstr... View More

Licensing Astrophysics Codes session at AAS 225: Link

" For those of you not in the know, at the past AAS meeting, a session was held on Licensing Astrophysics Codes based on suggestions that such a session would be interesting and useful to astronomers. This is a topic previously discussed in an AstroBetter guest post by Jake VanderPlas in March of 2014. In case you missed the s... View More

Data Exploration with Glue

" Chris Beaumont is a software engineer at Counsyl, and previously a software engineer at Harvard and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Glue began as a side project during Chris PhD thesis, and is now being developed to visualize data from the James Webb Space Telescope. Weve recently released version 0.4 of Glue , a P... View More

Astropy getting recognition from GitHub

This week the Astropy project made it onto GitHub's showcase of 10 notable Science repositories!https://github.com/showcases/science

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Making your code citable (and free private repos for academics)

Sharing your code is good, but getting academic credit for this is even better.Check out the recent blog post Improving GitHub for science to learn more.  This also includes information about getting private GitHub repositories for you or your lab for free!  No more excuses for not versioning and collaborating with modern revision co... View More

Book: Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy

What can I say - the new book Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy: A Practical Python Guide for the Analysis of Survey Data is simply amazing and deserves a spot on the desk of almost any modern astronomer.

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Matrix multiply infix operator in Python 3.5

Good news for anyone who does a lot of matrix manipulation in their Python codes: PEP 465 was accepted for inclusion into Python 3.5!The upshot is that an expression like:  >>> S = (H.dot(beta) - r).T.dot(inv(H.dot(V).dot(H.T))).dot(H.dot(beta) - r)turns into something much more reasonable and obvious... View More

Contributing to Astropy for newbies

One of the big goals of Astropy is to remove the line between developers and users.  We want to empower the astronomy community to be a part of the process.  What does that mean exactly?  It means that if you see something in Astropy that is wrong or missing, you can not only report this (which is a great first step), but you can fix... View More