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Next-generation spectral-timing software

Stingray is a new community-developed spectral-timing software package in Python for astrophysical data.

The vision

There are a number of official software packages for X-ray spectral fitting (XSPEC, ISIS, Sherpa, ...). Such a widely used and standard software package does not exist for X-ray timing, so for now it remains mostly done with custom, proprietary software. During the 2016 workshop The X-ray Spectral-Timing Revolution, a group of X-ray astronomers and developers decided to agree on a common platform to develop a new software package. This software package will merge existing efforts for a timing package in Python and provide the basis for developing spectral-timing analysis tools, and be structured with the best guidelines for modern open-source programming, following the example of Astropy. This software will have an easily accessible scripting interface (possibly a GUI) and a public API for power users. The ultimate goal is to provide the community with a package that eases the learning curve for advanced spectral-timing techniques, with a correct statistical framework.

How to get involved

We encourage you to get involved with Stingray in any way you can! First, read through the README. Then, fork the stingray and notebooks repositories (if you need a primer on GitHub and git version control, look here) and work your way through the Jupyter notebook tutorials for the main modules. Once you've familiarized yourself with the basics of Stingray, go to the Stingray issues page and try to tackle one! Other ways to get involved are outlined on the project ideas page, along with some astrophysical background/motivation. Finally, you can read these slides from an early talk on Stingray at the Python in Astronomy 2016 conference.

For organizing and coordinating the software development, we have a Slack group and a mailing list -- please use this link for Slack or send one of us an email to join.

Previous projects being merged in Stingray

Citing Stingray

Currently, the best way to cite Stingray in papers and other projects is with our Astrophysics Source Code Library entry.


Thank you to JetBrains for the free use of PyCharm.

Stingray is participating in the Google Summer of Code in 2018 under Open Astronomy, and participated in 2017 under the Python Software Foundation and in 2016 under Timelab.

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