Utilities for Projects

There are several utility programs in this directory and the source code for them is in /code if I wrote them. There are also several other system wide programs useful for your exercises.

List of useful routines:

  • getimage system tool for extracting the sky survey image of an object. fits file output
  • ds9 system image display tool, has its own help files
  • widl system IDL program, useful for making postdscript umages from above
  • supermongo system graphic plotting program, relatively simple to use, examples will be given
  • msample jph-for jph fortran program to extract objects from catalogs by sky area or brightness, etc.
  • map jph-for jph program for making sky maps in aitoff or linear projections (author J.Mader)
  • circleplot jph-for program for plotting projections of a cylinder currently set to use right ascension and declination


  • getimage

    To use this either be prepared to type in object coordinates or to provide a list of coordinates and also the size of the region you want to extract in arc-minutes. You also need to specify the directory in which you wish to see the images written. Useage:

  • getimage -i input.file -r /home/ast4075/.... -b

    specify input file & output file for 1950 coords only getimage assumes your'e inputting J2000 coordinates, and will assume that you are reading a file from the directory you are in and writing to your home directory if you don't specify one. use the -b option *only* if your input coordinate list is epoch 1950 instead of 2000. Output will be a set of fits files

    Iput file format:

  • name hh mm ss.s sdd mm ss xx yy

    where name has to have no spaces or wierd characters, hh mm ss.s sdd mm ss is the RA and Dec and xx and yy are the box sizes of the extracted image in arcmin (e.g. 10.0 10.0 for a 10'x10' box centered on the coords)

    ds9 (a.k.a. deep space 9)

    just type ds9 followed by the fits image name. you can open a new image from inside the window by clicking on the correct command.

    widl (Image Display Language)

    a commercial package. manuals in the CF or perhaps online


    a semi commercial package. notes at SMNOTES or read the manual sm.ps using ghostview.