We present astroplan—an open source, open development, Astropy affiliated package for ground-based observation planning and scheduling in Python. astroplan is designed to provide efficient access to common observational quantities such as celestial rise, set, and meridian transit times and simple transformations from sky coordinates to altitude-azimuth coordinates without requiring a detailed understanding of astropy’s implementation of coordinate systems. astroplan provides convenience functions to generate common observational plots such as airmass and parallactic angle as a function of time, along with basic sky (finder) charts. Users can determine whether or not a target is observable given a variety of observing constraints, such as airmass limits, time ranges, Moon illumination/separation ranges, and more. A selection of observation schedulers are included that divide observing time among a list of targets, given observing constraints on those targets. Contributions to the source code from the community are welcome.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- March 2018
- methods: numerical;
- methods: observational;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- Accepted to AJ, source code available at https://github.com/astropy/astroplan, replaced to correct typo in abstract