Astronomical Data Science with Python

Start Date

29 Mar 2023

Start Time

09:30 Europe/Amsterdam



Date End

30 Mar 2023

End Time

17:00 Europe/Amsterdam

Astronomical Data Science with Python


March 29 - 09:30 am


March 30 - 05:00 pm

Event Category:


Click to Register:

eScience Center Digital Skills Programme


ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo

Dwingeloo, NL, 7991 PD

This workshop covers a range of core concepts necessary to efficiently study the ever-growing datasets developed in modern astronomy.

This workshop will be delivered in person, unless new COVID-19 restrictions are put in place. The workshop will take place at Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo. Please note that lunch and drinks at the end of the workshop are included.

Astronomical Data Science with Python covers a range of core concepts necessary to efficiently study the ever-growing datasets developed in modern astronomy. In particular, this workshop teaches learners to perform database operations (SQL queries, joins, filtering) and to create publication-quality data visualizations. Learners will use software packages common to the general and astronomy-specific data science communities (Pandas, Astropy, Astroquery) combined with two astronomical datasets: the large, all-sky, multi-dimensional dataset from the Gaia satellite, which measures the positions, motions and distances of approximately a billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy with unprecedented accuracy and precision; and the Pan-STARRS photometric survey, which precisely measures light output and distribution from many stars. Together, the software and datasets are used to reproduce part of the analysis from the article “Off the beaten path: Gaia reveals GD-1 stars outside of the main stream” by Drs. Adrian M. Price-Whelan and Ana Bonaca. This lesson shows how to identify and visualize the GD-1 stellar stream, which is a globular cluster that has been tidally stretched by the Milky Way.

The workshop is based on the teaching style of the Carpentries, and learners will follow along while the instructors write the code on screen. More information can be found on the workshop website (will be activated once registration is live).

Who: The workshop is open and free to all researchers in the Netherlands at PhD candidate level and higher. We do not accept registrations by Master students. The workshop is aimed at PhD candidates and other researchers or research software engineers.

Prerequisites: The participant should:

  • have working knowledge of Python
  • have had exposure to the Bash shell

A detailed list of functions that participants should know can be found here.


  • Incremental creation of complex ADQL and SQL queries.
  • Using Astroquery to query a remote server in Python.
  • Transforming coordinates between common coordinate systems using Astropy units and coordinates.
  • Working with common astronomical file formats, including FITS, HDF5, and CSV.
  • Managing your data with Pandas DataFrames and Astropy Tables.
  • Writing functions to make your work less error-prone and more reproducible.
  • Creating a reproducible workflow that brings the computation to the data.
  • Customising all elements of a plot and creating complex, multi-panel, publication-quality graphics.

Where: This training will take place in-person at Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo.