Discovering CASA: An Introduction to Imaging Radio Telescope Data

Author: ORCID icon
Thilenius, Claire, Astronomy, University of Virginia
Cleeves, Ilse, AS-Astronomy (ASTR), University of Virginia
Waggoner, Abygail, AS-Chemistry (CHEM), University of Virginia

This thesis is an interactive guide designed to introduce researchers to the Common Astronomy Software Applications Package (CASA) for imaging interferomic radio telescope data, particularly data taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The primary objective is to narrow the gap between the complexity of ratio astronomy data processing and the novice researchers’ coding skills and understanding. This thesis aims to empower the next generation of scientists in radio astronomy research, fostering discoveries through a more accessible learning environment.
The guide walks users through key concepts in radio astronomy, including functions of interferometers like ALMA and parameters for cleaning data. Using publicly available data from Molecules with ALMA Planet-Forming Scales (MAPS) large program, the users can clean continuum and emission lines data for themselves in a series of Jupyter Notebooks. These activities allow users to engage directly with data processing and build skills for interacting with the data. The guide is publicly hosted on GitHub and can be accessible virtually through myBinder.

BA (Bachelor of Arts)
CASA, Radio Telescope Data, Protoplanetary Disk
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