Spectro-Python

A pdf-formatted version in german is downloadable here

 

Motivation

The evaluation of CCD images with optical astronomical spectra of stars, emission nebulae etc. was/is carried out in the professional area mainly with the publicly accessible and free program packages ESO-Midas  and IRAF as well as the institute’s own programs.

Hobby astronomers mostly prefer to work with programs for the Windows operating systems, which are usually more intuitive and easier to learn, but on the other hand are limited in their capabilities and black boxes (the user cannot see what the program does in detail). Often used programs are IRIS and VSpec, RSpec and BASS.

The author usually uses MIDAS on a Linux platform (Ubuntu 18.04). This allows practically everything that the spectroscopist’s practice requires to be done, but a considerable training effort is also required.

Frequently, however, there is also the desire for special evaluations, which are probably also possible in MIDAS or IRAF, but exceed the knowledge and skills of the user. It may be advantageous to use programming languages that can be used universally. Here the interpreter language Python.

Compared to other high-level languages such as C++, Python has the advantage of easier readability of programs (scripts) and faster language learning. In addition, there are a large number of modules on the Internet that can be easily integrated into your own programs („import“).