Astroplan: An open source observation planning package in Python

Brett M. Morris, Erik Tollerud, Brigitta Sipocz, Christoph Deil, Stephanie T. Douglas, Jazmin Berlanga Medina, Karl Vyhmeister, Toby R. Smith, Stuart Littlefair, Adrian M. Price-Whelan, Wilfred T. Gee, Eric Jeschke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)
    179 Downloads (Pure)


    We present astroplan - an open source, open development, Astropy affiliated package for ground-based observation planning and scheduling in Python. astroplan is designed to provide efficient access to common observational quantities such as celestial rise, set, and meridian transit times and simple transformations from sky coordinates to altitude-azimuth coordinates without requiring a detailed understanding of astropy's implementation of coordinate systems. astroplan provides convenience functions to generate common observational plots such as airmass and parallactic angle as a function of time, along with basic sky (finder) charts. Users can determine whether or not a target is observable given a variety of observing constraints, such as airmass limits, time ranges, Moon illumination/separation ranges, and more. A selection of observation schedulers are included that divide observing time among a list of targets, given observing constraints on those targets. Contributions to the source code from the community are welcome.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number128
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Publisher 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • methods: numerical
    • methods: observational


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