The University of Wroclaw (Poland) is pleased to announce the international summer school "Spectroscopic data analysis with iSpec". That will take place in Wroclaw, Poland between 26 and 29 June 2018.

The aim of this school is to give participants a thorough introduction into the treatment and analysis of stellar spectra, including deriving the atmospheric parameters and the chemical abundances. The tool which will be used for this purpose is the code iSpec.

iSpec is a tool for the treatment and analysis of stellar spectra. Some of the main functionalities for spectra treatment and library creation that are integrated into iSpec are the following: cosmic rays removal, continuum normalization, resolution degradation, radial velocity determination and correction, telluric lines identification, re-sampling. iSpec is also capable of determining atmospheric parameters (i.e effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, micro/macroturbulence, rotation) and individual chemical abundances for FGKM stars by using two different approaches: synthetic spectra fitting technique or equivalent widths method. iSpec integrates MARCS and ATLAS model atmospheres together with the following radial transfer codes: SPECTRUM (R. O. Gray), Turbospectrum (Bertrand Plez), SME (Valenti & Piskunov), MOOG (Chris Sneden), and Synthe/WIDTH9 (Kurucz/Atmos). The user-friendly interface is perfect for learning and testing. However, to take advantage of the full potential, iSpec can be used from Python. This is the recommended way to use iSpec for complex scientific studies, it ensures reproducibility and give access to a wider range of functionalities and options.

The participants of the school "Spectroscopic data analysis with iSpec" will be given introductory lectures to iSpec and some hands-on experience with determination of the atmospheric parameters of A, F, G, K, and M type stars. The exercises will be based on publicly available stellar spectra as well as on pre-computed synthetic spectra.

Planetary systems with several planets in compact orbital configurations such as TRAPPIST-1 are surely affected by tidal effects. Its study provides us with important insight about its evolution. We developed a second generation of a N-body code based on the tidal model used in Mercury-T, re-implementing and improving its functionalities using Rust as programming language (including a Python interface for easy use) and the WHFAST integrator. The new open source code ensures memory safety, reproducibility of numerical N-body experiments, it improves the spin integration compared to Mercury-T and allows to take into account a new prescription for the dissipation of tidal inertial waves in the convective envelope of stars. Posidonius is also suitable for binary system simulations with evolving stars.

Links: Article, Github, Documentation.

The astrophysics community uses different tools for computational tasks such as complex systems simulations, radiative transfer calculations or big data. Programming languages like Fortran, C or C++ are commonly present in these tools and, generally, the language choice was made based on the need for performance. However, this comes at a cost: safety. For instance, a common source of error is the access to invalid memory regions, which produces random execution behaviors and affects the scientific interpretation of the results.

In 2015, Mozilla Research released the first stable version of a new programming language named Rust. Many features make this new language attractive for the scientific community, it is open source and it guarantees memory safety while offering zero-cost abstraction.

We explore the advantages and drawbacks of Rust for astrophysics by re-implementing the fundamental parts of Mercury-T, a Fortran code that simulates the dynamical and tidal evolution of multi-planet systems.

Links: Article, Benchmark codes, Hacker news and Rust subreddit comments.

iSpec has been updated thanks to the contribution of several users:

  • Bug fix: Parameter determination not working properly from the visual interface
  • Bug fix: SME spectra was not correctly re-sampled before applying convolutions
  • MOOG now always computes molecular equilibrium for the most important species
  • Air <-> Vacuum conversion changed to follow IAU standard and VALD3

iSpec now supports several radiative transfer codes: SPECTRUM, Turbospectrum, SME, MOOG and SYNTHE/WIDTH9.