Today was the hack day associated with #wetton18. It was a great day! I had an incredibly limited goal: As I mentioned, I learned yesterday that some Gaia Bp Rp spectra (the low-resolution spectrophotometry) have been released with the Gaia transient alerts. They are uncalibrated, and possibly heavily affected by systematics, but there are many thousands of them! So my goal was to just plot some of these spectra.
What a success this was! Once I realized (and announced) that the project involves scraping data from web pages, Brigitta Sipocz (Cambridge) immediately volunteered to help. She (incredibly quickly) built a tool that scrapes the raw Gaia data from the alerts pages, refactors it into a correctly formatted astropy table, and writes it out as a fits file, structured so that multiple scrapings can be concatenated into a larger table.
We made the visualization shown in this tweet. That shows a blue star that is fading. Because it is a relatively normal star (that is, not a supernova), maybe we could use it, and others like it, to build some kind of model of the Bp Rp spectra. Our code is here.