Taxonomy for Time-Domain Astronomy Classes
Time-domain Astronomy Taxonomy
This project helps us track and version a taxonomy for astronomical time-series sources, for transients (e.g., supernovae and tidal-disruption events), continuous variables (e.g., QSOs) and variable stars (RR Lyrae, δ-Scuti). It is open source and we welcome PRs to change/update this taxonomy as need be.
The generic structure is human-readable YAML and looks like:
class: Supernova comments: | This is a diverse class of explosions related to the end-of-life of stars. links: - https://astrobites.org/2016/12/02/classifying-supernovae/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova tags: [explosive, transient] other names: [SN, sn, sne, supernova, supernovae] subclasses: - class: Type I tags: [hydrogen poor] other names: [SN Type I] subclasses: - class: Ia tags: [white dwarf, cosmology, thermonuclear] other names: [Ia-p, SN Ia, SNIa, supernovae Ia, SNe Ia] subclasses: - class: Ia-pec tags: [peculiar] other names: [SN Ia-pec, SNIa-pec, Ia-p] ...
There are two ways to describe the class. Either refer to another YAML file:
- class: Stellar variable subclasses: - ref: cataclysmic.yaml - ref: eclipsing.yaml - ...
or define the classes outright:
- class: Novae tags: [binary] subclasses: - class: Classical Nova other names: 
In this case only the
class name is required at each level. Other keys (
other names, and
links) are allowed but not required. The schema is created such that the classification hierarchy is nested: each member of the
subclasses array is itself a
class. The idea of
tags is to allow for a query of different
class members throughout the taxonomy by a similar observation or physical inference (e.g., a search on
cosmology could return both
pip install -U tdtax
Or Directly from Github:
git clone https://github.com/profjsb/timedomain-taxonomy.git cd timedomain-taxonomy pip install .
To get the taxonomy, after installation, as a Python
import tdtax from tdtax import taxonomy
This will merge all the YAML taxonomy files referred to in the
top.yaml file and check to make sure that the taxonomy is validate against the schema.
To output the current taxonomy to a webpage that can be interactively traversed:
import tdtax tdtax.write_viz(tdtax.vega_taxonomy, outname="viz.html")
This will write a file
viz.html which can be viewed in your browser. The
tags associated with each node is shown upon hover.
The taxonomy is captured starting the file
tdtax/top.yaml. It refers to other YAML files which contain classification hierarchies for subclasses.
import tdtax the taxonomies are merged into a single JSON tree and this is validated against the schema file
tdtax/schema.json. Before a PR, test to make sure that taxonomy validates against the schema by running the tests:
PyYAML to validate the taxonomy against the schema. When you make a PR, your branch will be automatically be tested with Travis CI.
To learn more about taxonomy of variable stars and explosive transients we suggest the following links:
- "Variable stars" from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
- Variability types from GCVS
- Supernova classification (astrobites) from A. Villar
We thank the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for a Software SkyPortal grant which covered the cost of the development of this project.
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