Simulating X-ray Observations with Python


X-ray astronomy is an important tool in the astrophysicist’s toolkit to investigate high-energy astrophysical phenomena. Theoretical numerical simulations of astrophysical sources are fully three-dimensional representations of physical quantities such as density, temperature, and pressure, whereas astronomical observations are two-dimensional projections of the emission generated via mechanisms dependent on these quantities. To bridge the gap between simulations and observations, algorithms for generating synthetic observations of simulated data have been developed. We present an implementation of such an algorithm in the yt analysis software package. We describe the underlying model for generating the X-ray photons, the important role that yt and other Python packages play in its implementation, and present a detailed workable example of the creation of simulated X-ray observations.

Keywords:astronomical observationsastrophysics simulationsvisualization