SunPy: Python for Solar Physics Data Analysis

<p>Python has seen widespread adoption among the scientific community in recent years resulting in a wide range of software being written for everything from numerical computation and machine learning to spectral analysis and visualization. SunPy is a free and open-source software library for working with solar and heliospheric datasets, written in the Python programming language. It provides an alternative to the IDL-based SolarSoft (SSW) solar data analysis environment.</p> <p> </p> <p>SunPy has map objects that allow simple overplotting of data from multiple two-dimensional image FITS files; time-series objects that allow overplotting of multiple lightcurves, and integration with online services such as The Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO) and The Heliophysics Event Knowledgebase (HEK). SunPy also provides functionality that is not currently available in SSW such as advanced time series manipulation routines and support for working with solar data stored using JPEG 2000. We give some examples of what can be done in SunPy, and show how Python-based solar data-analysis can take advantage of many different data analysis tools not readily available in SSWIDL.</p> <p> </p> <p>We also discuss future goals for the project and ways for interested users can become involved in the planning and development of SunPy.</p> <p><br>(Presented at AAS SPD 2012 Meeting in Anchorage, AK)</p>