TASS Software

Index of software:

Prototype of Mark IV device driver

Chris Albertson posted this July 30, 1999.

  1. The newest version of the TASS Mk IV real-time control server (a.k.a. "Mk4d") now has a Tcl interface. The interface is built in two layers. The first is written in "C" and when compiled makes a module that can be loaded into a running tcl interpreter. The module adds two new commands "Tmk4_connect" and "Tmk4_SendCommand". The second layer uses the first and is written in tcl. It implements commands like "Tmk4_PointTo" and "Tmk4_Expose". Both these layers even when you add them together are what I'd call a "thin wrapper" All they do is provide a pipe from tcl to the real-time controller. All the work is still done in the Mk4d server. The tcl interface works. You can demo it. You can do anything via tcl that the server can do directly. One thing I didn't get working is the tcl "package" system and a nice way to install the package. So it still uses the old fashioned "load" and "source" rather then "package requires". This will come later. There is a demo tcl program included. Just do what it does.

  2. Mk4d now compiles and runs on RedHat 6.0. It will still run on older systems too. It is my intent that major parts of it. Everything except the part that actually touches the Mk IV hardware (This means the client side software and the tcl interface) should run on most computers. I'd like it to run on Linux, UNIX and Windows to include not just Intel X86 but SPARC, Alpha and other CPU types. I've done some testing but I mostly use Linux on Intel Pentium. It would be nice if someone would try this out on an MS Windows 9x/nt/2k platform.

  3. A library I maintain and use was upgraded too. The new version of MLog (2.0.0) now has a tcl interface (that works) and is overall more robust. This is a major change to MLog and you will want to recompile everything that uses MLog if you get the new version. If I wrote it, it likely uses MLog for doing log files and error messages.

All of the above is available at: http://table.jps.net/~chrisja/TASS_Software/

You should download the software directly from Chris' site.

Version of the 'Star' program for Mark IV images

Glenn Gombert has converted a program which were written to analyze Mark III images into a form which might be used to analyze Mark IV images. His goal is to run the Mark III star detection/measuring code on Mark IV images.

version: Nov 2, 1999

I have just uploaded to Michaelís ftp site the latest copy of the Linux Mark IV data reduction program called "Mark4StarV2.exe" it incorporates many bug fixes that I have put in over the past three or four weeks and also incorporates Chrisís suggestion of making it "command line" driven using the standard UNIX protocol.

I have also included a new SAO catalog kindly created by Paul Row that covers the region of + 5.0 -ŗ +15.0 degrees in Declination to be used with Tomís Mark IV data image CD-ROMís that he has been sending out. Flat-Fielding is now optional in the new version of the program and can be specified with a -F option of the command line. A typical command line input might be:

        ./Mark4StarV2.exe -R. -Dvdark15.fts

Where the "." is used to look for Mark IV image files in the directory where the program currently resides.

Latest version: Dec 7, 1999

Glenn Gombert created a new version of the program, and posted it on Dec 4. Chris Albertson then made some modifications to the Makefile and packaging. This include Chris' changes. Here are Chris' notes:

1) Download the code (see below)
2) tar xvfz starunix-1.0.1.tgz
3) cd starunix-1.0.1
4) make depend
5) make
6) (as root) make install

This works on newer Linux/i386 systems.

mk4adc: Check the distribution of bits in an image

Alan McCallum has written a tool to check the distribution of bits in the pixels of a Mark IV image (though this may work on any FITS image). Here's his description, from a message posted Sept 3, 1999:

In response to Tom's request I have attempted to write a utility that covers some of the points below. I have written the program in (shock...horror....) Quick Basic 4. It is still a prototype. I could re-write in Visual Basic 3, but this means more old MS DLLS. I can only use the tools that I have.

The program will process files from a pick list. It can be set to scan contiguous rows, but is defaulted to 200 random rows. The main part of the program counts bits set for a NAXIS1 row, and displays this result compactly, with upper & lower bytes arranged in two lines of display. If say bit 4 is set ON in both bytes for an entire row, this should stand out. It depends on the chip failure mode. Intermittent gate hanging will, as always, be difficult to detect.

Tom: The program needs testing on a MkIV file, so I hope you have the time to do this. If you do need to seriously try to look for a fault, please read the caveat about Big-Endian bytes in the notes (MK4ADC.txt) I _think_ I have it right, but this point needs checking. Sorry. I will try to fix any problem, but I realise that this program in creaky ole BASIC is still only a stopgap. Never mind. I had some fun for a time.

Please read

You may download the code from Alan's site:

or take it from the TASS site:

Converting TASS data to FITS images

You can use this program to convert one of Tom Droege's Mark I image files into FITS format. It's written in ANSI C; you might try using the GCC compiler, if your system has it.

If you have a Mark II image, you can try either of two programs to convert them to FITS. Both are ANSI C.

Finally, markiii2fits.c converts Mark III images into FITS format. It's ANSI C, like the others.

Welch-Stetson variability statistic

Doug Welch provided a Perl script to implement the Welch-Stetson method for finding variable stars . Patrick Wils has modified it slightly, as described below:

wsv31.pl script (posted Aug 9, 2002)

I have modified the WS program (see attached file) so that it also displays the following, besides the existing WS statistic:

  1. the farthest outlier (expressed in standard deviations). Observations which deviate more than 4 standard deviations from the nightly mean, have been removed for the other calculations.

  2. the mean of nightly WS values (a minimum of 10 observations is required for a night to be included): this should be better suited for short period variables, because a difference in nightly means has been removed by this procedure, e.g. the WS value for the Mira star SS Her decreases from 85 to 0.7 ! But, I bet there is still a lot of room for improvement here.

  3. the range in V (maximum nightly V - minimum nightly V) expressed in units of the maximum nightly standard deviation

  4. the same for I

The last two values are large for long period variables. It seems that the I value is often inexplicably large compared to the V value, which might indicate a problem in the night to night calibration. The V value seems more acceptable. The star in the July data set with the largest V range is John's eclipsing binary GSC 396-1222, and SS Her is in third place.

wsv32.pl script (posted Aug 13, 2002)

I added one more short period variability indicator to the WS program (see attached file). It calculates the average ratio between the squared difference of subsequent observations and the variance for the night (it's a mouthful). This should be low for a short period variable (the total variance or amplitude tends to be larger than the magnitude change between subsequent observations, as opposed to constant stars which show random noise on the order of the standard deviation), but because we're used to looking for the highest number, I have taken the inverse. The indicator is given for both V and I observations. ...

In short, these variability indicators do not really reveal suspected variables that WS doesn't turn up. However, some false alarms have been eliminated (mostly caused by outliers which could have been removed from the original WS as well), but conveniently, candidates are split up between intranight and internight variables. None of these methods are very well suited to find planetary transits or transients.

wsv33.pl script (posted Sep 13, 2002)

I have made some modifications to the WS program (again):

  1. The program no longer reads the number of data points of a star from each line. Instead it just takes the number of lines that are present in the file. The September data set e.g. says the first star contains 13 data points, while there are only 11 in the file. This could have caused a lot of problems. Thanks to Michael Sallman for pointing this out.
  2. The value of the "mean square successive difference" is now expressed as 1 - SSSD/2/Variance, with SSSD the sum of the square successive differences. The closer this value approaches 1, the more probable the star is a short period variable.
  3. Outliers have also been removed from the calculation of the normal WS statistic. The number of outliers is provided as well (as a consequence some of the output fields have changed position).
  4. Some nights show a lot of scatter (e.g. JD2452497 in the September data set is such a night). These nights are best removed from the calculations. Just make a file with lines containing the two JDs between which data should be discarded, and provide the name of this file as the "$bad" parameter.
Feedback is always welcome.

FITS image compression

If you have lots and lots of 16-bit integer FITS images, you might want to save some disk space. There are several options available to you:

Convert FITS tables to Postgres data

This note posted by Chris Albertson, June 6, 1999:

I have placed yet another version of "fitstab2pg" on my web site This is the program that imports FITS catalog tables into Postgres tables. The previous program worked but the problem was that I did all the big test runs on a SPARC Ultra 60. It was not fast but seemed to run well enough. I tried running on my Linux PC (P200 96MB RAM) and what took hours on the Sun took literally days on the PC. I now use a faster method to move the data. This version is >20x faster then the previous version. Now, the one million plus row Tycho dataset takes less then an hour to process even on a 200Mhz Pentium

I have tested this on Linux and Solaris. It should run under MS Windows 9x/NT. I'd be interested to know if it does. Get it at:


You can download the files from the TASS WWW site, too. These versions were copied from Chris' web site on June 6, 1999.

Source extractor ("SExtractor") program

Several TASS members have used the program SExtractor (Source Extractor) to find and measure objects on TASS images. This program was written by Emmanuel Bertin and S. Arnouts at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. You can find a full description of it in Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series, vol. 117, p. 393 (1996). Here's the abstract:

We present the automated techniques we have developed for new software that optimally detects, deblends, measures and classifies sources from astronomical images: SExtractor (Source Extractor). We show that a very reliable star/galaxy separation can be achieved on most images using a neural network trained with simulated images. Salient features of SExtractor include its ability to work on very large images, with minimal human intervention, and to deal with a wide variety of object shapes and magnitudes. It is therefore particularly suited to the analysis of large extragalactic surveys.

You can grab a copy of the original source code from

We have reports of people using it successfully under

Nov 2, 1996: Glenn Gombert has made available an executable of SExtractor for Windows95. You can download a ZIP file containing the executable and configuration files.

Nov 27, 1996: Glenn Gombert reports good results when using the following configuration file for his TASS images.

Mar 12, 1997: Glenn Gombert releases his version of Sextractor source code files, modified to compile and run under Windows 95. You can download a ZIP file containing the Windows 95 source code for Sextractor, or choose to download a ZIP file containing the executable code and configuration files.

June 6, 1997: Glenn Gombert provides a copy of the latest version, said to be release June 3, 1997; Glenn has converted the program to run under Windows95/NT. You can

Dec 20, 1996: Emmanuel Bertin announces a release of SExtractor 1.2beta5a, available at ftp://ftp.iap.fr/pub/from_users/bertin/sextractor. In his words,

The name of the archive is sex_1.2b5a.tar.gz. It contains the source and makefiles for Linux PCs, SUN/OS, DEC-Alpha, SUN/SOLARIS and HP/UX compilers. Just go into the ``source'' directory extracted from the archive and type there ``make -f Makefile.xxx'' where xxx corresponds to your machine type.

Mar 31, 1998: Glenn Gombert has converted the latest version, V2.0.0, of Sextractor to run under Windows 95/NT. Below is a note from Emmanual Bertin describing the latest changes:

This is V2.0.0 of SExtractor. SExtractor stands for ``Source Extractor'': a software for making catalog of sources from astronomical images. This release has been expected for quite a long time. I thought I would not release any new version of SExtractor before the new star/galaxy classification scheme and a proper documentation would be ready. But as this takes me more time than expected, I prefered to make the present version available. It contains many enhancements with respect to previous versions, and most of all, should be fairly stable. This version of the software was involved in the production of the prerelease data of the ESO Imaging Survey, and the results extensively checked. This at least means that there are probably not many important bugs remaining in the most common operation modes of the software...

I plan to make future public releases more frequent, as upgrading of SExtractor seems an endless story... The version number now starts at 2.0.0!

In case of problems, questions or suggestions related to the software, please don't hesitate to drop me a mail: bertin@iap.fr. I cannot garantee that I will reply immediately, but I will try for sure to give an answer. I will soon try to set up a bulletin board on iap.fr, which I hope will help information to circulate faster. Emmanuel Bertin.

DS9 FITS image/table viewer

The SAO/HEAD group has released a program which can read and display both FITS images and FITS binary tables. It runs on many platforms and is free. You can find it at:

Glenn Gombert's port of "Star" to Linux

September 24, 1999

Glenn Gombert has ported Mike Gutzwiller's "Star" program from Windows to Linux. You can download an ELF executable, with statically-linked libraries. Contact Glenn for details on its usage.

Glenn Gombert's 'Batch' image processing program

Glenn Gombert has written a program that runs under Windows95 and is designed specifically to process a large quantity of TASS images. It uses the log file produced by Normal Molhant's Data Acquisition program.

You can read about the latest release of BATCH.

Image analysis software from the Automated Telescope Facility

The University of Iowa Automated Telescope Facility is a great resource for astronomy: a 7-inch refractor with CCD camera, completely automated, and available for use by people all over the world. The group at U of Iowa, led by Robert Mutel, has created software for image reduction and analysis. You can grab a copy of their Windows95 software (and check out stuff for other systems) by going to the ATF Software Page. Glenn Gombert warns that the software package is large (over 6 Megabytes in size), so it can take a long time to download.

Added Sept. 20, 1997: Glenn Gombert recommends the FITSHDR program from the ATF suite for displaying and editing the headers of FITS images. Glenn writes:

I just uploaded to Storm /incoming a program called "FITSHDR.exe" from the University of Iowa's ATFtool kit for displaying and editing FITS header key words. I find it *very* useful. I trust that others may find it useful as well. It is easy to use in a DOS window type fitshdr "filename" and it will display the complete fits header for a particualr image. It can also be used to edit/change keywords in fits image headers (such as RA and DEC starting values) CRVAL1 & CRAVAL2 etc.

Astrometrica, a program to blink FITS images and measure positions

This is a shareware program which comes recommended from several sources. Here's a brief description from the Astrometrica home page.

Astrometrica" is a tool for scientific grade astrometric and photometric data reduction of CCD images. It reads SBIG (ST-4, ST-4X, ST-5, ST-6, ST-7 and ST-8), Cookbook (CB 211 and CB 245), FITS (8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit Integer files) and TIFF (8 bit and 16 bit uncompressed grey scale) image files up to 2056 x 1028 pixels in size.

The selection of reference stars is done with the CCD image displayed simultaneously with a star chart, usually based on the "Hubble Space Telescope Guide Star Catalog" (GSC), oriented and scaled to match the CCD image. After the reference stars have been selected, the position and magnitude of any object on the CCD image can be measured with just a few keystrokes.

Furthermore, the program may be used to calculate detailed ephemeris of minor planets and comets. Also, "Astrometrica" allows the user to blink compare images to search for moving objects (minor planets or comets), or those that vary in brightness (variable stars, novae or supernovae).

Further information on CCD astrometry with "Astrometrica" can be found in the Winter 1995 issue of "CCD Astronomy", pp.20-22. Also, note Dennis di Cicco's Commentary "Tracking Barnard's Star" in that issue (p.50), as well as Brian Marsden's Commentary "CCDs and Comet Hale-Bopp" in the Fall 1995 issue of "CCD Astronomy". Finally, the Minor Planet Center of the IAU provides a fine "Guide to Minor-Body Astrometry" online.

CCDAR, a program to calibrate a list of stars against an astrometric catalog

The CCDAR package is (written by and?) distributed by Mario Carpino (carpino@brera.mi.astro.it). The code is located at URL http://www.brera.mi.astro.it:80/~carpino/ccdar/ Here's a brief description from the page (taken Feb 20, 1997):

CCDAR is a package for the astrometric reduction of CCD frames: it is designed especially for the astrometry of minor bodies (asteroids and comets), but can be used for the astrometric reduction of any CCD image. The present version (1.0) represents a preliminary release, to be considered in beta-test status: its capabilities are limited and will be extended in future upgrades. It works basically in two steps, which are fairly independent:

The first step can be accomplished with software already existing (and not included in the present distribution); we give here suggestions and interface routines for generating inventory files either with Sextractor or with IRAF/DAOPHOT. The second step is accomplished through a series of FORTRAN programs.

Supported star catalogues: CCDAR can access directly the Guide Star Catalogue CDROM. Moreover, it can read sections of any star catalogue, provided they are transformed to a suitable format: this feature can be exploited for using star catalogues which are distributed through the network (see directory netca). We plan to add support for USNO-SA1 astrometric catalogue as soon as it will be available.

JIMSAIP: an astronomical image processing program for DOS

JIMSAIP v1.00 is an astronomical image processing program that will load files from SBIG CCD cameras and FITS files. Maximum image size is limited by computer memory and maximum displayable image is limited by video card up to and including 1024x768. A 765x510 image can be processed and displayed with less than 5 MB of extended memory (above 1 MB) and a video card with a VESA &h103 mode. Images can be resampled to fit smaller displays or to realize square pixels. It is a DOS program that will run in a Win3.1 window. There are 37 menu functions including Wiener Deconvolution and Save to GIF. Images can be calibrated for astrometry using reference stars from the GSC v1.1 which is available on CD Rom and/or reference stars from the GSC v1.2 which is available over the WEB.

You can find the JIMSAIP program at http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/astronmy/jimsd100.zip or contact the author, James M. Roe, jim@jamesroe.com. His home page is http://www.jamesroe.com/astro/starhome.htm

ANA: X11-based image processing sofware

ANA ("A Non-Acronym") is a free, interactive, data analysis and display program/language written for 32-bit computers and used by its authors for scientific investigation of images of the Sun (but not limited to those). The source code is written in C, with graphical display and interaction through X11. The public distribution of source codes and auxilliary files currently covers about 4 Mbyte, including a 680-kbyte manual. A short description follows below. For more information, an on-line version of the manual, and directions on how to get the public distribution, see the ANA web page at http://ana.lmsal.com

Henden's Collate program for matching lists of stars

Last updated Sep 9, 1997.

Arne Henden wrote several Fortran programs which he has used to combine star lists from different sites and nights into "master" lists. Please read the documentation on COLLATE. Here are his Fortran sources -- the index numbers in the file extensions rise with more recent versions. Thus, collate.f3 is more recent than collate.f2, which is more recent than collate.f1

Glenn Gombert has compiled Arne's programs under Windows95/NT to produce executables. Here's his description:

I have finished converting Arne's four programs to run under Windows95/NT. They are


I have made a zip file and uploaded it to Storm under /incoming. It is called "aah.zip". With collate/trnsform I have been able usually generate > 35,000 stars ("V" & "I") magnitudes and positions from data taken since the first week of August.

The version of collate supports the output format from Mike G's new version of "STAR". I have included the documentation for the programs called "source.doc" as part of the zip-file.

The main enhancement to the suite of programs is being able to process lists of stars up to 100,0000 total. It seems sufficient for most Mark III Processing needs. It can take 2-3 hours to collate a list of stars from an "all-night" run however on my 133 Mhz - 586.

As Arne modifies his programs over the next several months I will try and keep up with the changes.

Matching lists of stars

I have written a program that takes two lists of stars -- for example, one of which might be those detected in a TASS image, the other of which might be those in the Guide Star Catalog -- calculates a transformation that brings the two sets of coordinates together, and produces lists of all stars which appear in both lists. You can download the star-matching software from my home page or from Freshmeat. The latest version dates from Jan 22, 2001.

Glenn Gombert has compiled this code (and the mini-GSC package, too) for Windows 95/NT. Read more about Glenn's port.

If you are trying to match TASS images to stars around the celestial equator, you might want to look at automatic astrometric calibration by E-mail.

November 2, 1996: Glenn Gombert reports that he has used an astrometry program from the Starlink Software Store successfully under Linux. He describes it as follows:

I have just uploaded an astrometry program that runs under Linux called "astrom.sh" that can be installed on any Linux system by typing "sh astrom.sh" and answering the installation questions. It is a plate solver routine which computes the RA and DEC for a list of X&Y coordinates once several know reference stars in the image have been identified.
You can grab a copy of Starlink's ASTROM program yourself; note that you should request a version appropriate for your own computer system.

Miniature version of the Guide Star Catalog

I have extracted a small subset of the information in the Hubble Guide Star catalog: the positions and magnitudes of stars in a 15-degree zone centered on the celestial equator. The mini-GSC is only about 13 Megabytes in size. You can use the source code described below to make a list of stars centered on any area of this equatorial zone, like this:

01:23:26.3  +00:57:57   2000.00   13.6    315.6  -290.5  -123.2
01:23:50.3  +00:58:07   2000.00   15.0    132.8    69.4  -113.2
01:23:50.7  +01:02:51   2000.00   14.2    186.7    75.4   170.8
01:23:51.8  +01:02:16   2000.00   12.1    164.0    91.9   135.8
01:23:53.4  +01:03:49   2000.00   13.1    256.5   115.9   228.8
which may then be compared to TASS images.

You really ought to read the description.

Glenn Gombert has compiled the MGSC utilities and the star-matching utilities under "Windows 95/NT". He has created a ZIP file which includes the binary executables for that OS. You can download Glenn's ZIP file.

Last updated Jan 14, 1998.

Information on the Digitized Sky Survey

taken from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

*Southern Hemisphere:  Deep IIIa J plates from the ESO/SERC Southern Sky
 Atlas and the SERC Equatorial EJ Sky Atlas.
*Northern Hemisphere:  E Plates from the first National Geographic
 Society-Palomar Observatory Sky Survey conducted with the Oschin Schmidt

*STScI scanned microdensitometer with a 50 micron apodized aperture and
 25 micron (1.7 arc seconds) pixel size used throughout.
*H-transform wavelet compression technique produced 600 Gbytes of data on
 102 CD-ROMs.
*All CDs are formatted according to the ISO 9660 standard.

*For UNIX or VMS machines--decompression software included.
*For PC users--decompression software available at additional cost.
*Decompressed images in FITS format needed for most image processing
 programs (IRAF, IDL, etc.)

Images virtually indistinguishable from the original plates...
*Astrometric tests for relative positional accurary.
 +/- 0.02 arcsec for bright object (J < 16).
 +/- 0.46 arcsec for faint objects (J < 19).
*Photometric test--compressed vs original data
 +/- 0.03 mag brighter than J = 19.5 mag.
 +/- 0.10 mag fainter than J = 19.5 mag.
 surface photometry is unaffected.

*Astrometric calibration database supports the generation of accurate
*Photometric calibration database available later for no additional charge.

*You can access Digitized Sky Survey on DOS if and only if you have
 installed Microsoft Windows 3.1 first.  The program that would let you do
 that is called Almagest.  To run Almagest, you need:
*An Intel 386-based PC compatiable computer or higher with co-processor
 highly recommended though not necessary with minimum of 4 Mb of RAM and
 about 8 Mb of free disk space;
*A CD-ROM player;
*A mouse supported by Microsoft Windows;
*A graphic board supported by Microsoft Windows and a color monitor able to
 display simultaneously 256 colors;
*Microsoft Windows version 3.1;

     Almagest's CD-ROM contains thousands of stars clusters, galaxies,
quasars, and variable stars...  Also, Almagest can create synthetic sky
images in 256 colors with the 25,000,000 objects from the Guide Star
Catalog (available from the ASP) and it can read, decompress, and display
the Digitized Sky Survey images...

*The cost of entire 102 CD-ROM set is $3500.00; the cost of the Almagest
 is $295 plus shipping and handling.
     To place an order, please contact the ASP--Astronomical Society of
the Pacific at

     390 Ashton Ave.
     San Francisco, CA 94112
     Phone: (800) 335-2624 Mon-Fri, 9-3 Pacific Time
     Fax:   (415) 337-5205
     E-mail:  asp@stars.sfsu.edu

AVE period-finding program

Alain Maury brings to our attention AVE, a program written by the Spanish GEA (Grup d'Estudis Astronomics) to find periods of variable stars. I haven't used the program myself, but it appears to work with simple ASCII two-column data for input, and allow the user to find periods interactively, with some very nice displays. The program is free! For more information, visit The AVE home page

FV: standalone Tcl/Tk FITS viewer/editor

Version 2.0 of fv, a standalone Tcl/Tk program for viewing and editing any FITS format data file, is now available from the HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center) at NASA/GSFC. Fv allows users to view any FITS header and edit any of the keywords. The data values in FITS tables or images may also be displayed and edited within a scrolling spreadsheet-type window. FITS 2-D images may be displayed either using the internal image display widget supplied with fv, or using the SAOtng image display tool (available separately from SAO). Users may also make line plots of one or more columns in a FITS table and then zoom in on any areas of interest. The images and plots may be saved and printed in postscript format, and the headers and data values may be saved to ASCII text files.

Fv currently runs on many Unix platforms, including SUN O/S, SUN Solaris, Dec OSF, and Linux PCs. (Versions for the Windows NT/95 and Mac operating systems are under development).

Instructions for installing fv may be obtained from the Web site at:


Questions about fv should be sent to ftoolshelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov.

FITSVIEW: FITS viewer for Windows 95/NT

The FITSVIEW program runs under Window 95/NT -- it displays FITS images and interprets World Coordinate System (WCS) parameters in the header (if any are present). This is version 1.30.

DoPhot: Windows 95/NT version of photometry program for crowded stellar fields

Glenn Gombert writes:

The "Home Page" for DoPhot 3.1 is listed below, it contains all of the source code in a UNIX tar-file to build the executable as well as an interesting PASP article that compares DoPhot with DAOPHOT.


Glenn has compiled a version of DoPhot for Windows (this version doesn't require any Dll libraries option).

Stellar Photometry Software (SPS): crowded-field photometry via PSF-fitting

Jim Heasley writes (29 May 1998):

In a posting yesterday, Tom mentioned the SPS software that Ken James (Boston University) and I have developed over a period of some 8-9 years. As he mentioned, the web site describing the software and how to get it is


In brief, it is an integrated suite of routines for doing point-spread function fitting photometry in crowded fields. The program includes modules for finding stars, aperture photometry, psf generation, psf photometry, artifical star experiments, etc., all in an integrated, menu driven environment. We have used it extensively on both ground-based and Space Telescope images. It currently runs on unix machines (Dec, Sun, linux) although I have entertained thoughts from time-to-time of doing a Windows port (and one of my grad students was going to do a Mac port but I haven't heard from him on that in quite some time :-). The web site tells how you can obtain the software.

Image subtraction software by Alard (and Lupton)

Christophe Alard and Robert Lupton have developed software which is designed to look for variable objects in crowded fields. The key is a sophisticated image substraction technique.

TASS database management programs

Chris Albertson has written SQL scripts and PERL scripts to create Postgres databases from TASS star lists. If you have a machine with access to the Internet and a DBMS which supports SQL, you can download his files and access the central TASS database.

You can find the material on Chris' own site, at

I also keep a copy here. The latest version I've copied is version 0.7.3_20JUL98.

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