Spectral World Coordinate Systems

In its simplest representation a spectrum is a one-dimensional array storing the flux information. In this form pixel indices form a coordinate system for the spectrum. In most cases, however, the data has been calibrated in a way that allows a mapping between pixel coordinates and physical coordinates. These transformations are often referred to as a world coordinate system (WCS) and can be thought of as functions:

\[f_{\textrm{WCS}}(c_0, c_1, \dots, c_l;\ x_1, x_2, \dots, x_n) \mapsto y_1, y_2, \dots, y_m,\]

where \(c_i\) represents a parameter for the transform, \(x_j\) are pixel coordinates and \(y_k\) are spectral coordinates (e.g. angstrom).

Model is essentially a parametrized function and thus is an ideal way to represent WCS transformations. In addition, there are fitters available (link) that can be used to create WCS transforms from calibration data. Here’s how a simple model (\(f(c_0, c_1;\ x_0) = c_0 \exp{(c_1 x_0)}\)) would look in python:

class SimpleModel(astropy.modeling.Model):

    c_0 = astropy.modeling.Parameter('c_0')
    c_1 = astropy.modeling.Parameter('c_1')

    def __init__(self, c_0, c_1):
        super(SimpleModel, self).__init__()
        self.c_0 = c_0
        self.c_1 = c_1

    def __call__(self, x_0):
        y_0 = self.c_0 * np.exp(self.c_1 * x_0)
        return y_0

It would be used in the following way:

>>> mymodel = SimpleModel(5, 6)
>>> mymodel(7)

Spectral 1D WCS

The simplest WCS for 1D is a lookup table. This is often found in a ascii tables where one column is the lookup table (wavelength array) and one column is the flux array. In terms of the functional transform view: the lookup table represents a parameter (\(c_0\)):

>>> from specutils import Spectrum1D
>>> from specutils.wcs import specwcs
>>> import numpy as np
>>> wave = np.arange(6000, 9000) # wavelength
>>> flux = np.random.random(3000) # flux
>>> lookup_table_wcs = specwcs.Spectrum1DLookupWCS(wave, unit='angstrom') # Creating the wcs
>>> lookup_table_wcs(0) # doing the transformation for pixel 0
<Quantity 6000.0 Angstrom>
>>> Spectrum1D(flux=flux, wcs=lookup_table_wcs)
Spectrum1D([ 0.66118716,  0.39584688,  0.81210479, ...,  0.5238203 ,
         0.05986459,  0.11621466])

For more information about the Spectrum1d object go to Spectrum 1D.

Another common WCS is the linear dispersion (\(f_{\textrm{WCS}}(x) = c_0 + c_1 x\)) and commonly serialized (encoded) to FITS keyword headers. For linear dispersion we are using the general Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS WCS:

>>> from specutils.wcs import specwcs
>>> linear_wcs = specwcs.Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS(degree=1, c0=6000, c1=1., unit='angstrom')
>>> linear_wcs(1.5)
<Quantity 6001.5 Angstrom>

There are also a couple of models which can be useful to combine different WCS. These are the CompositeWCS and WeightedCombinationWCS models.

When there is a need to apply more than one WCS in a particular order to the input, CompositeWCS should be used:

>>> import math
>>> from specutils.wcs import specwcs
>>> linear_wcs = specwcs.Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS(degree=1, c0=6000, c1=1.)
>>> log = lambda x: math.log(x, 10)
>>> composite_wcs = specwcs.CompositeWCS([linear_wcs, log])
>>> composite_wcs(1.5)
>>> math.log(linear_wcs(1.5), 10)
>>> add_one = lambda x: x+1
>>> composite_wcs.add_WCS(add_one)
>>> composite_wcs(1.5)

The above code applies two WCS to the input. First, it applies the polynomial WCS, and then returns the logarithm of the output. As illustrated, one can also add user defined functions to this composite WCS. The add_WCS method can also be used apart from the init function to add more WCS to the composite WCS. In general, the CompositeWCS returns the following:


The WeightedCombinationWCS model provides another way of combines different WCS. In this model, each WCS gets the same input. The output from each WCS is added together using a weight and a zero point offset:

>>> import math
>>> from specutils.wcs import specwcs
>>> linear_wcs1 = specwcs.Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS(degree=1, c0=6000, c1=1.)
>>> linear_wcs2 = specwcs.Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS(degree=1, c0=1000, c1=-1.)
>>> combination_wcs = specwcs.WeightedCombinationWCS()
>>> combination_wcs.add_WCS(linear_wcs1, weight=0.5)
>>> combination_wcs.add_WCS(linear_wcs2, weight=1.2, zero_point_offset=1000)
>>> combination_wcs([1.5, 2])
array([ 5398.95,  5398.6 ])
>>> 0.5 * linear_wcs1([1.5, 2]) + 1.2 * (1000 + linear_wcs2([1.5, 2]))
array([ 5398.95,  5398.6 ])

The order of WCS does not matter in this case. The weight and the zero point offset are the parameters stored with each WCS, and are evaluated as shown in the above example. In general the WeightedCombinationWCS returns the following:

\[\sum\limits_{i=1}^n weight_i * (zero\_point\_offset_i + WCS_i(input))\]

Another important model available is the DopplerShift model. This model is specifically for calculating the doppler shift from velocity (v). The doppler factor is computed using the following formula:

\[doppler\_factor = \sqrt{\frac{1 + \frac{v}{c}}{1 - \frac{v}{c}}}\]

,where c is the speed of light

When the model is called on an input, input * doppler_factor is returned. The inverse of this model can also be obtained, which divides the input by the doppler factor. The Doppler shift model can also be instantiated from redshift(z) and the Doppler factor itself.

For more information about reading and writing WCS transformations to the FITS File format see FITS reader and FITS writer.

In addition, the following WCS models exist as well:

These models are just IRAF extensions of already existing models. This extensions enable the user to read and write from IRAF FITS files.


specutils.wcs.specwcs Module


BSplineModel Implements a BSpline representation of 1-D curve.
BaseSpectrum1DWCS Base class for a Spectrum1D WCS
CompositeWCS A composite WCS model.
DopplerShift This model applies doppler shift to the input.
MultispecIRAFCompositeWCS A specialized composite WCS model for IRAF FITS multispec specification.
OrderedDict(*args, **kwds) Dictionary that remembers insertion order
Spectrum1DIRAFBSplineWCS WCS for polynomial dispersion using BSpline functions with transformation
Spectrum1DIRAFChebyshevWCS WCS for polynomial dispersion using Chebyshev polynomials with
Spectrum1DIRAFLegendreWCS WCS for polynomial dispersion using Legendre polynomials with
Spectrum1DLookupWCS A simple lookup table wcs
Spectrum1DPolynomialWCS WCS for polynomial dispersion.
WeightedCombinationWCS A weighted combination WCS model.