Presentation #127.06 in the session “Computation, Data Handling, Image Analysis”.
As more and more data are collected from the night sky, it becomes increasingly important to be able to analyze the data as precisely and efficiently as possible by using computer programs. The spotlight has thus begun to shine on data science and software development as key new fields of astrophysics. Given the importance of data analysis pipelines for telescopes of all kinds, we have developed a photometric pipeline, Photometry+, for the Great Basin Observatory (GBO), a 0.7 meter robotic telescope located in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. To prevent Photometry+ from being a black box, we focus on the human-computer interaction (HCI) components of the program. Although the definition of HCI is debated by those interested in the field, most can agree that HCI puts forth the principles of using a multi-disciplinary approach to making interactions between humans and the software we depend on easier, more fulfilling, and more accessible. The HCI goal of the proposed pipeline is to create a straightforward user interface that gives astronomers control over the program and increased confidence in its results. Its user interface design can also teach students the process of differential photometry. The development of this user interface has been guided and validated by HCI user studies, and we present examples of the application of Photometry+ for monitoring transient sources. This publicly available and open source code has been designed for the GBO telescope but it can easily be adapted for use at any observatory.