Welcome to the Integral Field Spectroscopy Wiki

Welcome one and all to this wiki on integral field spectroscopy. We hope you find this informative, interesting and useful. If you want to learn things, read on! And if you can contribute, please do!

8/9/08 Wiki founded
13/5/09 Forum added. We are experimenting with having a forum for people to post and answer questions. We have no idea at present how popular this will be, but let's see…… :-). It is linked from the side-bar. You do not have to be registered with IFS wiki to contribute to this Forum.
18/5/09 IFS wiki open to the community for editing.
20/5/09 paper out on astro-ph
2/4/10 New information about GIPSY upgrade and user survey
5/5/10 New information about p3d fibre-fed IFU data reduction software added
3/11/10 STScI workshop "IFUs in the era of JWST" was held in Baltimore 26-28th Oct 2010. Talks can be downloaded here.
10/1/12 Conference news: "Metals in 3D: New insights from Integral Field Spectroscopy" to be held in Granada 18-20th April 2012.
29/6/12 New info on data cube visualisation software: Updates to the CASA Viewer, ds9 and Aladin.
18/11/12 Conference news: "Dissecting Galaxies with 2D Wide-field Spectroscopy" will be held in China 25-29th March 2013.

Why an IFS wiki?

Integral field spectroscopy (IFS) is becoming more and more popular, with all major observatories now either having or constructing these instruments. The wavelengths covered go from the blue to the sub-mm, and they are used in almost all areas of astronomy. However, the reduction and analysis of these data is rather daunting, and software that is general enough to be used for more than one instrument or more than one type of astronomy is still not abundant.

This wiki site is therefore intended to be a repository of useful information on working with IFS. We assume that, having found this page, you have already had some exposure to IFS — maybe you are thinking about proposing some IFS observations or have already obtained some data and are wondering what to do with it, or maybe you are an experienced astronomer looking for new ideas? This site is not intended to become a manual or cookbook for reducing and analysing IFS, rather we hope for it to become a collection of useful information contributed by the community, from people who have reduced and analysed these type of data and have advice to give. No-one wants to re-invent the wheel every time… better we pool our efforts and help each other out :-)

The level of advice, help, software offered and expertise assumed is completely up to the individual contributors, so you shouldn't expect any more than is offered. Also, we offer no guarantee that all the information here is correct, complete, or up-to-date (although we will try hard to keep it that way) — you are going to have to apply your own intelligence to what you read.

How to contribute

As you read through the pages you will come across requests for information. This means we have identified a gap in our collective knowledge that we would really appreciate someone filling in. We also maintain a wish-list of more specific gaps that could be filled — these are listed on the todo page. We and the whole IFS community deeply appreciate any knowledge you contribute.

Also, we would love it if you wanted to add any useful/relevant references to the references page.

Become a member first, …

We encourage all potential wiki contributors to first become members of the site. You can do this by going here and using the password "integralfield". This is important for two reasons: (1) to allow us to keep track of who is doing what, and (2) to ensure you get the deserved credit. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of very stupid, very annoying spam we've been getting, we have changed the settings so that you do need to be a member of the IFS wiki to edit it.

… or just leave comments

If you only have some small additions or corrections to add, then you may just want to post a comment at the end of each wiki-page and we will take note. The comment facility asks for your email address, name and web-site (this latter you can leave blank), but the email address is not made public.

The originators and maintainers of this site are currently Dr. Katrina Exter and Dr. Mark Westmoquette. Our contact details are available here.

Significant contributors
We owe a great debt of gratitude to the following people, who helped start up this wiki:
Lise Christensen (ESO)
Millicent Maier (Gemini)
Marie Lemoine-Busserolle (Gemini)
James Turner (Gemini)
Thomas Marquart (Uppsala)
Rob Sharp (AAO)

If you also are someone who is willing to contribute advice or software, then you will be our heroes! We will gratefully publish the names of our hard-working contributors here (unless they don't want to be).


Observing NGC 1569 with the Gemini GMOS-IFU, showing the HST Hα image and successive blow-ups of the IFS data-cube (a collapsed monochromatic image, the full spectrum from one fibre, a zoom-in on a Hα line).

astro-ph article accompanying the site launch poster advertising the site launch


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