23 September 2019

AAS Journals Unveil New Tool for Visualizing Time-Series Data

By Chris Lintott

University of Oxford

The AAS journals have long supported the inclusion of animated and even interactive figures. Now, to make producing such graphics easier than ever, we are pleased to announce the aas-timeseries project, which works with the recently launched astropy.timeseries module. As their names suggest, these new packages enable astronomers to visualize time-series data, such as variable-star light curves and exoplanet-transit timings, and then to easily submit the resulting interactive figures to the AAS journals, i.e., the Astronomical Journal (AJ), the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) family, and the forthcoming Planetary Science Journal (PSJ).

aas-timeseries project graphic

Authors can create interactive figures with different layers, markers, ranges, lines, and labels. All of this functionality serves to help authors guide readers to interesting regions of the graph — and to dictate how the figure initially appears online and in static versions of the article — while still allowing readers the flexibility to explore on their own. We hope that the aas-timeseries tool will be of great use to astronomers dealing with this increasingly common class of data, and that authors will appreciate the opportunity to share their work with readers in the same way that they themselves view it.

The development of the aas-timeseries package was funded by the AAS journals, as was the creation of the astropy.timeseries package that is now part of the open-source Astropy distribution. For full instructions on using the package and submitting articles, see the online documentation.