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RAMP starting kit on classification of variable stars from light curves

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Most stars emit light steadily in time, but a small fraction of them has a variable light curve: light emission versus time. We call them variable stars. The light curves are usually periodic and highly regular. There are essentially two reasons why light emission can vary. First, the star itself can be oscillating, so its light emission varies in time. Second, the star that seems a single point at Earth (because of our large distance) is actually a binary system: two stars that orbit around their common center of gravity. When the orbital plane is parallel to our line of view, the stars eclipse each other periodically, creating a light curve with a characteristic signature. Identifying, classifying, and analyzing variable stars are hugely important for calibrating distances, and making these analyses automatic will be crucial in the upcoming sky survey projects such as LSST.

The challenge in this RAMP is to design an algorithm to automatically classify variable stars from light curves.

Getting started

Install

To run a submission and the notebook you will need the dependencies listed in requirements.txt. You can install install the dependencies with the following command-line:

pip install -U -r requirements.txt

If you are using conda, we provide an environment.yml file for similar usage.

Challenge description

Get started on this RAMP with the dedicated notebook.

Test a submission

The submissions need to be located in the submissions folder. For instance for my_submission, it should be located in submissions/my_submission.

To run a specific submission, you can use the ramp-test command line:

ramp-test --submission my_submission

You can get more information regarding this command line:

ramp-test --help

To go further

You can find more information regarding ramp-workflow in the dedicated documentation

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Classification of variable stars from light curves

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