Redback: A Bayesian inference software package for electromagnetic transients

24 Aug 2023  ·  Nikhil Sarin, Moritz Hübner, Conor M. B. Omand, Christian N. Setzer, Steve Schulze, Naresh Adhikari, Ana Sagués-Carracedo, Shanika Galaudage, Wendy F. Wallace, Gavin P. Lamb, En-Tzu Lin ·

Fulfilling the rich promise of rapid advances in time-domain astronomy is only possible through confronting our observations with physical models and extracting the parameters that best describe what we see. Here, we introduce {\sc Redback}; a Bayesian inference software package for electromagnetic transients. {\sc Redback} provides an object-orientated {\sc python} interface to over 12 different samplers and over 100 different models for kilonovae, supernovae, gamma-ray burst afterglows, tidal disruption events, engine-driven transients, X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts driven by millisecond magnetars among other explosive transients. The models range in complexity from simple analytical and semi-analytical models to surrogates built upon numerical simulations accelerated via machine learning. {\sc Redback} also provides a simple interface for downloading and processing data from Swift, Fink, Lasair, the open-access catalogues, and BATSE and fit this or private data. {\sc Redback} can also be used as an engine to simulate transients for telescopes such as the Zwicky Transient Facility and Vera Rubin with realistic cadences, limiting magnitudes, and sky-coverage or a hypothetical user-constructed survey with arbitrary settings. We also provide a more general simulation interface suitable for target of opportunity observations with different telescopes. We demonstrate through a series of examples how {\sc Redback} can be used as a tool to simulate a large population of transients for realistic surveys, fit models to real, simulated, or private data, multi-messenger inference and serve as an end-to-end software toolkit for parameter estimation and interpreting the nature of electromagnetic transients.

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena