SkyPy: a package for modelling the Universe

Adam Amara, Lucia F. de la Bella, Simon Birrer, Sarah Bridle, Juan Pablo Cordero, Ginevra Favole, Ian Harrison, Ian W. Harry, William G. Hartley, Coleman Krawczyk, Andrew Lundgren, Brian Nord, Laura K. Nuttall, Richard P. Rollins, Philipp Sudek, Sut-Ieng Tam, Nicolas Tessore, Arthur E. Tolley, Keiichi Umetsu, Andrew R. WilliamsonLaura Wolz

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SkyPy is an open-source Python package for simulating the astrophysical sky. It comprises a library of physical and empirical models across a range of observables and a command-line script to run end-to-end simulations. The library provides functions that sample realisations of sources and their associated properties from probability distributions. Simulation pipelines are constructed from these models using a YAML-based configuration syntax, while task scheduling and data dependencies are handled internally and the modular design allows users to interface with external software. SkyPy is developed and maintained by a diverse community of domain experts with a focus on software sustainability and interoperability. By fostering development, it provides a framework for correlated simulations of a range of cosmological probes including galaxy populations, large scale structure, the cosmic microwave background, supernovae and gravitational waves. Version 0.4 implements functions that model various properties of galaxies including luminosity functions, redshift distributions and optical photometry from spectral energy distribution templates. Future releases will provide additional modules, for example, to simulate populations of dark matter halos and model the galaxy-halo connection, making use of existing software packages from the astrophysics community where appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3056
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Open Source Software
Issue number65
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2021


  • astro-ph.IM
  • astro-ph.CO
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • MRC
  • ST/S000550/1
  • MR/T01881X/1


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