In this lesson, I will introduce some of my favorite tools for sifting through large datasets to discover rare and interesting objects. We will explore performing large-scale cross matches of datasets like Gaia, Pan-STARRs, the Chandra Source catalog, etc, using Topcat, selecting candidates from this, and inspecting them using tools like Aladin, Vizier, and Simbad. I will emphasize tips and tricks, as well as the bells and whistles of some of these programs that I have picked up by using them on a daily basis over the years.
Pre-requisite: To follow along with the lesson, please bring along a laptop with an internet connection, and ideally download and install Topcat ahead of time (Mac users, please use the curl command): https://www.star.bris.ac.uk/~mbt/topcat/. Optionally, attendees are encouraged to also download Aladin desktop if they want to see capabilities beyond what the web interface is capable of (e.g., displaying Hubble and JWST images, etc): https://aladin.cds.unistra.fr/java/nph-aladin.pl?frame=downloading