Background/general reference

From CoolWiki
Revision as of 00:18, 31 July 2020 by Rebull (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Starting from the very beginning

How science works and other philosophical musings

Light beyond the visible -- There are a LOT of resources available all over the web on this, so just a few links listed here.

Archives -- what an archive is and why it's important.

Reference pages

Central wavelengths and zero points -- A reference page for bands frequently used in NITARP.

Units -- need to clean up (after math fixes) and separate into two pages

Crucially important concepts

Literature searching -- How can you find out what scientists already know about a particular astronomy topic or object? Literature searching is an essential part of doing scientific research!

Resolution -- spatial resolution matters!

FITS format -- professional astronomy images are usually in FITS format. If you're doing science, you shouldn't be using gifs, jpgs, pngs.

astronomical imaging; color tables and stretches


Mosaics -- Typically objects or regions in space we want to study are too large for the telescope to capture in a single image or frame, so the telescope has to take many frames which are combined using software into a single image or what is commonly called a mosaic (or sometimes a map).

Other important information

Diffraction -- related to, but different from, resolution. Diffraction matters! The 'rings' you see around some Spitzer sources aren't the dust rings around those sources!

Confusion -- Depending on where you are looking and what wavelength you are using and specifically what you are doing, confusion can matter!

Infrared Background -- Depending on where you are looking and what wavelength you are using and specifically what you are doing, the IR background can matter!


A discussion of what photometry is and why you would want to do it. Includes where to find already-reduced Spitzer photometry. Also see Aperture photometry using APT.


If you've done photometry before and expect to do it the same way here, BE CAREFUL because IT WILL NOT WORK. The units of Spitzer images can be tricky. This page has a lot of information about these units and how to convert them into more familiar units.

Color-Magnitude and Color-Color plots

A general discussion of color-magnitude and color-color plots.

SED plots

A general discussion of spectral energy distribution (SED) plots.

What is a periodogram?

Information on periodograms -- what they are, why you care about them, and how to use the NASA Exoplanet Archive's tool for determining them.


need better title, sorting

Spitzer Space Telescope

How does the Spitzer Telescope work? A very general introduction to the Spitzer Space Telescope, with links to go to for more information.

need to chase sublinks and file them

What other kinds of archival data are part of NITARP? A general introduction to all of the archives housed at IPAC that are part of NITARP.

Comparison of other missions to Spitzer (dated; need to update this!)

need to chase sublinks and file them