• IPAC

NITARP Tutorials

NITARP Tutorials are designed as sort of "continuing education" for NITARP alumni. The screen-capture recordings are linked here.  (Some of the older ones were held live over the web and recorded, so you can hear other voices on the recordings.)

Tutorials on software or archives

Overview of what astronomical archives are (Oct 2015): by Luisa Rebull (IRSA/IPAC). Overview - just 5 min. Why do we need to have archives?

Overview of IPAC and its Holdings (Dec 2014): by Luisa Rebull (IRSA/IPAC). IPAC is the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, and it maintains several very large archives that may be of interest to you! IPAC Overview - just 6.5 minutes!

Overview of the NASA Exoplanet Archive (Dec 2014): by Solange Ramirez (NExScI/IPAC). The Exoplanet Archive is the repository for data on confirmed and suspected planets and their host stars. Solange reviews for us what kinds of data and tools are available here. Exoplanet Archive Overview - 34 minutes.

Overview of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) (Jan 2015): by Marion Schmitz (NED/IPAC). The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database is a very large database of vetted data on extragalactic objects. Marion reviews for us what kinds of data and tools are available here. NED Overview - 16 minutes.

Overview of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) (Feb 2015): by Luisa Rebull (IRSA/IPAC). The NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive contains data from (largely) the infrared and submillimeter, with all-sky surveys in 20 bands, over 20 billion rows of catalog data, over 18 million images, and over 100,000 spectra. Luisa reviews for us what kinds of data and tools are available here. IRSA Overview - 8.5 minutes.

For other, shorter videos on using a variety of IRSA archives and tools, please see the IRSA YouTube channel. These videos are aimed at professional astronomers, but many of them should be useful for you too!

WISE and the WISE Archive (Nov 2012, updated October 2015): by Luisa Rebull (SSC/IPAC). WISE is a satellite that observed in four infrared bands. It conducted an all-sky survey. This Tutorial was designed to cover what WISE is and how to access the data from its archive. UPDATED WISE Overview (20 min), and UPDATED WISE Data Access (30 min). NOTE: the WISE archive has gotten an updated look and slightly different search choices since this tutorial was originally made in November 2012! These videos are kept for archival reasons : Part 1: WISE overview - what is the mission, the big picture (20 min); Part 2: the WISE archive - how to access the archive (20 min); Part 3: questions - questions from those online and on the phone (8 min)

ds9 (Jan 2013):  by Luisa Rebull (SSC/IPAC). ds9 is a widely-used software package that displays FITS images and allows some analysis and annotation. This Tutorial was designed to be a crash course on ds9, from the very basics to more advanced tips and tricks. It is not designed to be comprehensive, but a super-fast introduction to the software. Part 1: ds9 overview - what is ds9, etc (10.5 min); Part 2: the first half of the ds9 demo - getting it started, basics of usage (19 min); Part 3: the second half of the ds9 demo - more advanced tips and tricks (25 min)

  • Download ds9 from here: http://hea-www.harvard.edu/RD/ds9/site/Download.html
  • Having problems making ds9 start up on a Mac? Make sure you have X windows (also called X11) installed - it is free, though if you get it from the App Store, it will make you give them an address. Also try this site.
  • More help on installing ds9 from Chandra (may be dated).
  • NB: for Mac OS 10.8 (snow leopard) users: No formal X11 support is provided for this OS version, but it appears that DS9 version 6.1 will still work even with 10.8. Mac users of 10.8 ONLY should install 6.1.

Chandra activities using ds9 (April 2013):  by Terry Matilsky (Rutgers). Dr. Matilsky showed us some of the skils developed as part of the really nice Chandra data analysis activities available here. This tutorial assumed some knowledge as a prerequisite, such as watching ds9 tutorial above, and reading the core pages from the Chandra 101 pages herePart 1: introdution (~9 min), Part 2: demos (~45 min). There are resources available at the Chandra site on how to access the Chandra archives as well.

Astronomical Literature  (January 2016): by Luisa Rebull (IPAC). Part 1: An overview of two major archives for literature searching in astronomy, and how to use them. 22 min. Part 2: How to read a scientific paper. 16 min.

Aperture Photometry Tool (APT) (May 2013) - by Varoujan Gorjian (JPL/IPAC/NITARP) and Russ Laher (SSC/IPAC). This tutorial comes in pieces. Part 1: Introduction (~10 min), by Dr. Gorjian, covers basics of astronomical imaging and why (and how) you would want to do photometry in the first place. Part 2: APT Overview (~35 min), by Dr. Laher, covers the basics of actually using the software, with the most current version of APT available as of May 2013.  For completeness, this tutorial from 2011 (~15 min) is a much older video, with an older version of APT, but it is one of the most frequently viewed videos out of my collection of videos! This video goes from installing software through measuring photometry for IRAC mosaics, making use of CoolWiki resources as needed.

Pytuts: Python for the absolute beginner (May-June 2014) - by Babar Ali (NHSC/IPAC). This was a multi-week series of tutorials about programming in Python. All of the resources are on another page.

Tutorials on other programs using real data in the classroom

Skynet, and Skynet Junior Scholars (Feb 2013) - by Vivian Hoette (Yerkes Observatory) - http://skynet.unc.edu/  Skynet is a distributed network of robotic telescopes operated by students, faculty, and staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Vivian told us about Skynet in general, how you can use it, and more about her program called Skynet Junior Scholars. Web page Vivian constructed prior to the telecon. NITARPers who missed the Tutorial can email Luisa or Vivian for the password information and access to Skynet. The Skynet-developed online tutorials mentioned during our tutorial are here. We had LOTS of technical glitches with this one, which you can see in the video... If we rerun this and are able to record it, we will link a new version here. - One big YouTube file - 53 min.

IASC (March 2013) - Patrick Miller (Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX) and Denise Rothrock (Madisonville HS, NITARP Class of 2012) - http://iasc.hsutx.edu/  IASC ("Isaac"), the International Astronomical Search Collaboration, is an educational outreach program in astronomy designed for high schools and colleges. Your students can participate in this program along with 500 schools from 60 countries. They can make original discoveries that, in time, can be officially named. IASC is free. Whole honkin' thing (56 min) OR Just the part on Asteroids and Why You Should Care (23 min), Just the part on IASC and what it is (19 min), and Just the part with the live demo of the IASC software (15 min)

SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program. (April 2013) - Coral Clark (SOFIA) and Chelen Johnson (NITARP and AAA alum) told us about SOFIA and the AAA program.  Application for 2014, due May 3, 2013!  Whole thing (39 min) -- do stick around for the questions at the end because we talk about some issues specifically relevant to NITARP alumni applying for SOFIA.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) SkyServer tools (February 2014) - Kate Meredith (NITARP alum) is working to overhaul and add to the SDSS SkyServer education site. She shared with us some of the stuff she has done and is planning to do. Whole thing (49 min) -- note that the audio improves after the first 2.5 min.  Subsquent to this tutorial, Kate recorded her own introductory video, which is shorter and is a more succinct introduction to these tools.

Tutorials on astrophysical concepts and tools

NITARP Shorts (created May 2014) - A YouTube Playlist of many short NITARP videos, any one of which is too short for a full NITARP Tutorial, but that are useful for explaining single ideas or concepts.

NITARP Concepts (created April 2016) - A YouTube Playlist of several short(ish) NITARP videos explaining basic concepts.

What Is Science? (April 2016) - Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech) briefly summarizes what science is, how it differs from traditional lab work, and how science and engineering are different. 16 minutes.

FAQs on being an astronomer (April 2016) - Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech) briefly summarizes the most frequently asked questions she gets about being an astronomer. 15 minutes.

Color images. (March 2016) - How there is never and has never been truly a color image, as well as color tables and color stretches. Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech). 11.5 minutes.

SEDs of Young Stars. (June 2013) - Elise Furlan (IPAC/Caltech and NOAO) tells us about spectral energy distributions (SEDs), specifically SEDs of young stars. Whole thing (30 min)

Just Magnitudes, Filters, and Colors (February 2016) - Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech) tells us about magnitudes, filters, and colors. This has some of the same content that is in the next video listed here, but this is a little slower and a little more focused, and includes a demo using cellophane gels. 32 min.

Filters, Colors, Magnitudes, SEDs, CCDs, and CMDs! (May 2014) - Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech) tells us about filters, colors, maginitudes, spectral energy distributions (SEDs), color-color diagrams (CCDs), color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs), and how they are all interrelated, especially when looking for IR excesses around stars. Whole thing (55 min!)

10 Years of Spitzer. (September 2013) - On Sept 11, 2013, we celebrated 10 years of Spitzer operations with an afternoon of science talks, covering a range of Spitzer accomplishments. We were able to capture some of the talks after the fact. Note that these are meant to be science overviews for the greater Spitzer community -- they are not public talks, but nor are they very highly specialized. YouTube Playlist with all the videos.

30 Years of Space-Based Infrared Astronomy: From IRAS to Spitzer and Beyond. (November 2013) - JPL has a monthly series of public lectures, and Luisa Rebull (IPAC/Caltech) was invited to be the speaker for November 2013. The talk was about IRAS (launched 30 years ago this year) and Spitzer (launched 10 years ago this year), with cameos by WISE and Herschel. The talk was webcast and recorded; the UStream recording is here. (Talk+questions is about an hour.)

Tutorials on other items that may be of interest

Media relations. (May 2013) - Tim Spuck (Oil City High School) and Ardis Herrold (Grosse Pointe North High School), both NITARP alumni, shared their experience and advice for getting more media coverage for your activities in the classroom. Whole thing (51 min!).

We're back from the Jan 2024 AAS and we had a grand time!