Python in Astronomy – day 2

So day 2 of the Python in Astronomy workshop is now over. Time to prepare ourselves for day 3, probably as good as the previous 2 days have been.

Day 2 just confirmed what day 1 hinted, this workshop is like no other one I have ever been and it keeps getting better and better. But it is not only the topics covered in the conference what makes this workshop worthy. The people are really friendly and there is an amazing atmosphere to bring new ideas and comments to the table and discuss them freely without worrying about being judged.

I think Pauline Barmby (@PBarmby) has done an awesome job summarising the day with links to google docks and more. So I don’t think it is worth repeating everything here when she has done such a nice work. Thus, I encourage you to go and check her blog for a detail description of each of the sections (see it here

For me, it was a really positive day. I got to give my “Lightning talk”, a 5min talk, about my python software called PAST for timing analysis. People seemed to welcome my talk and I had the opportunity to chat with few people about it later. It seems that there is here a lot of potential for new collaborations at different levels, new potential users and probably some integration with other packages. I guess I will need to give it a final boost.

Better documentation seemed like the theme in the morning. A very valid point that I should start using more and more even if it takes a bit more time to have my scripts completely ready.

From the talks in the morning, I was very impressed with Althea’s one on Meteor showers (, and Edward’s on telescope networks ( Really interesting works where python seem to play a huge role. It was great to hear a bit more about arXiver. I knew about this site, but never really got into using it. After listening to Vanessa, I think I should give it a try. It sounds really interesting.

Of course, the talk by Erik on Astropy was very important. Astropy as a community is playing a very important role on bringing python to our community and astropy as a software package is getting more and more important (apparently over 100 citations already and more than 120 contributors).

The unconference sessions were very useful. The astropy.stats one ended up being an incredible brainstorming session where everybody said what they would like to see included in the module and why. Also it helped as an initial step towards what it end up being another uncoference session on astropy tutorials. Don’t be surprise if the astropy site has many more tutorials that it currently has after this week. We also set the barebones of a new site to gather educational resources to help learning how to code, specially in python. That was really interesting, too!

Day 2 finished and we are getting almost half way there. It is going to be sad when all this ends, but I can see that we are building a stronger python community and that the goals are very clear. And that the group of people here will be quite active promoting astropython or helping building new packages for a long time.


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