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Results 1301-1400 of 1577 (1556 ASCL, 21 submitted)

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[ascl:1108.019] BOREAS: Mass Loss Rate of a Cool, Late-type Star

The basic mechanisms responsible for producing winds from cool, late-type stars are still largely unknown. We take inspiration from recent progress in understanding solar wind acceleration to develop a physically motivated model of the time-steady mass loss rates of cool main-sequence stars and evolved giants. This model follows the energy flux of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence from a subsurface convection zone to its eventual dissipation and escape through open magnetic flux tubes. We show how Alfven waves and turbulence can produce winds in either a hot corona or a cool extended chromosphere, and we specify the conditions that determine whether or not coronal heating occurs. These models do not utilize arbitrary normalization factors, but instead predict the mass loss rate directly from a star's fundamental properties. We take account of stellar magnetic activity by extending standard age-activity-rotation indicators to include the evolution of the filling factor of strong photospheric magnetic fields. We compared the predicted mass loss rates with observed values for 47 stars and found significantly better agreement than was obtained from the popular scaling laws of Reimers, Schroeder, and Cuntz. The algorithm used to compute cool-star mass loss rates is provided as a self-contained and efficient IDL computer code. We anticipate that the results from this kind of model can be incorporated straightforwardly into stellar evolution calculations and population synthesis techniques.

[ascl:1107.001] SNID: Supernova Identification

We present an algorithm to identify the type of an SN spectrum and to determine its redshift and age. This algorithm, based on the correlation techniques of Tonry & Davis, is implemented in the Supernova Identification (SNID) code. It is used by members of ongoing high-redshift SN searches to distinguish between type Ia and type Ib/c SNe, and to identify "peculiar" SNe Ia. We develop a diagnostic to quantify the quality of a correlation between the input and template spectra, which enables a formal evaluation of the associated redshift error. Furthermore, by comparing the correlation redshifts obtained using SNID with those determined from narrow lines in the SN host galaxy spectrum, we show that accurate redshifts (with a typical error less than 0.01) can be determined for SNe Ia without a spectrum of the host galaxy. Last, the age of an input spectrum is determined with a typical 3-day accuracy, shown here by using high-redshift SNe Ia with well-sampled light curves. The success of the correlation technique confirms the similarity of some SNe Ia at low and high redshifts. The SNID code, which is available to the community, can also be used for comparative studies of SN spectra, as well as comparisons between data and models.

[ascl:1107.002] GIBIS: Gaia Instrument and Basic Image Simulator

GIBIS is a pixel-level simulator of the Gaia mission. It is intended to simulate how the Gaia instruments will observe the sky, using realistic simulations of the astronomical sources and of the instrumental properties. It is a branch of the global Gaia Simulator under development within the Gaia DPAC CU2 Group (Data Simulations). Access is currently restricted to Gaia DPAC teams.

[ascl:1107.003] FITSManager: Management of Personal Astronomical Data

With the increase of personal storage capacity, it is easy to find hundreds to thousands of FITS files in the personal computer of an astrophysicist. Because Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is a professional data format initiated by astronomers and used mainly in the small community, data management toolkits for FITS files are very few. Astronomers need a powerful tool to help them manage their local astronomical data. Although Virtual Observatory (VO) is a network oriented astronomical research environment, its applications and related technologies provide useful solutions to enhance the management and utilization of astronomical data hosted in an astronomer's personal computer. FITSManager is such a tool to provide astronomers an efficient management and utilization of their local data, bringing VO to astronomers in a seamless and transparent way. FITSManager provides fruitful functions for FITS file management, like thumbnail, preview, type dependent icons, header keyword indexing and search, collaborated working with other tools and online services, and so on. The development of the FITSManager is an effort to fill the gap between management and analysis of astronomical data.

[ascl:1107.004] Flexible DM-NRG

This code combines the spectral sum-conserving methods of Weichselbaum and von Delft and of Peters, Pruschke and Anders (both relying upon the complete basis set construction of Anders and Schiller) with the use of non-Abelian symmetries in a flexible manner: Essentially any non-Abelian symmetry can be taught to the code, and any number of such symmetries can be used throughout the computation for any density of states, and to compute any local operators' correlation function's real and imaginary parts or any thermodynamical expectation value. The code works both at zero and finite temperatures.

[ascl:1107.005] Sherpa: CIAO Modeling and Fitting Package

Sherpa is the CIAO modeling and fitting application made available by the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). It can be used for analysis of images, spectra and time series from many telescopes, including optical telescopes such as Hubble. Sherpa is flexible, modular and extensible. It has an IPython user interface and it is also an importable Python module. Sherpa models, optimization and statistic functions are available via both C++ and Python for software developers wishing to link such functions directly to their own compiled code.

The CIAO 4.3 Sherpa release supports fitting of 1-D X-ray spectra from Chandra and other X-ray missions, as well as 1-D non-X-ray data, including ASCII data arrays, radial profiles, and lightcurves. The options for grating data analysis include fitting the spectrum with multiple response files required for overlapping orders in LETG observations. Modeling of 2-D spatial data is fully supported, including the PSF and exposure maps. User specified models can be added to Sherpa with advanced "user model" functionality.

[ascl:1107.006] AIRES: AIRshower Extended Simulations

The objective of this work is to report on the influence of muon interactions on the development of air showers initiated by astroparticles. We make a comparative study of the different theoretical approaches to muon bremsstrahlung and muonic pair production interactions. A detailed algorithm that includes all the relevant characteristics of such processes has been implemented in the AIRES air shower simulation system. We have simulated ultra high energy showers in different conditions in order to measure the influence of these muonic electromagnetic interactions. We have found that during the late stages of the shower development (well beyond the shower maximum) many global observables are significantly modified in relative terms when the mentioned interactions are taken into account. This is most evident in the case of the electromagnetic component of very inclined showers. On the other hand, our simulations indicate that the studied processes do not induce significant changes either in the position of the shower maximum or the structure of the shower front surface.

[ascl:1107.007] AMUSE: Astrophysical Multipurpose Software Environment

AMUSE is an open source software framework for large-scale simulations in astrophysics, in which existing codes for gravitational dynamics, stellar evolution, hydrodynamics and radiative transport can be easily coupled and placed in the appropriate observational context.

[ascl:1107.008] STARS: A Stellar Evolution Code

We have developed a detailed stellar evolution code capable of following the simultaneous evolution of both stars in a binary system, together with their orbital properties. To demonstrate the capabilities of the code we investigate potential progenitors for the Type IIb supernova 1993J, which is believed to have been an interacting binary system prior to its primary exploding. We use our detailed binary stellar evolution code to model this system to determine the possible range of primary and secondary masses that could have produced the observed characteristics of this system, with particular reference to the secondary. Using the luminosities and temperatures for both stars (as determined by Maund et al. 2004) and the remaining mass of the hydrogen envelope of the primary at the time of explosion, we find that if mass transfer is 100 per cent efficient the observations can be reproduced by a system consisting of a 15 solar mass primary and a 14 solar mass secondary in an orbit with an initial period of 2100 days. With a mass transfer efficiency of 50 per cent, a more massive system consisting of a 17 solar mass primary and a 16 solar mass secondary in an initial orbit of 2360 days is needed. We also investigate some of the uncertainties in the evolution, including the effects of tidal interaction, convective overshooting and thermohaline mixing.

[ascl:1107.009] REAS3: Modeling Radio Emission from Cosmic Ray Air Showers

In recent years, the freely available Monte Carlo code REAS for modelling radio emission from cosmic ray air showers has evolved to include the full complexity of air shower physics. However, it turned out that in REAS2 and all other time-domain models which calculate the radio emission by superposing the radiation of the single air shower electrons and positrons, the calculation of the emission contributions was not fully consistent. In this article, we present a revised implementation in REAS3, which incorporates the missing radio emission due to the variation of the number of charged particles during the air shower evolution using an "end-point formalism". With the inclusion of these emission contributions, the structure of the simulated radio pulses changes from unipolar to bipolar, and the azimuthal emission pattern becomes nearly symmetric. Remaining asymmetries can be explained by radio emission due to the variation of the net charge excess in air showers, which is automatically taken into account in the new implementation. REAS3 constitutes the first self-consistent time-domain implementation based on single particle emission taking the full complexity of air shower physics into account, and is freely available for all interested users.

[ascl:1107.010] XDSPRES: CL-based package for Reducing OSIRIS Cross-dispersed Spectra

We present a description of the CL-based package XDSPRES, which aims at being a complete reducing facility for cross-dispersed spectra taken with the Ohio State Infrared Imager/Spectrometer, as installed at the SOAR telescope. This instrument provides spectra in the range between 1.2um and 2.35um in a single exposure, with resolving power of R ~ 1200. XDSPRES consists of two tasks, namely xdflat and doosiris. The former is a completely automated code for preparing normalized flat field images from raw flat field exposures. Doosiris was designed to be a complete reduction pipeline, requiring a minimum of user interaction. General steps towards a fully reduced spectrum are explained, as well as the approach adopted by our code.

[ascl:1107.011] ARCHANGEL: Galaxy Photometry System

ARCHANGEL is a Unix-based package for the surface photometry of galaxies. While oriented for large angular size systems (i.e. many pixels), its tools can be applied to any imaging data of any size. The package core contains routines to perform the following critical galaxy photometry functions: sky determination; frame cleaning; ellipse fitting; profile fitting; and total and isophotal magnitudes.

The goal of the package is to provide an automated, assembly-line type of reduction system for galaxy photometry of space-based or ground-based imaging data. The procedures outlined in the documentation are flux independent, thus, these routines can be used for non-optical data as well as typical imaging datasets.

ARCHANGEL has been tested on several current OS's (RedHat Linux, Ubuntu Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X). A tarball for installation is available at the download page. The main routines are Python and FORTRAN based, therefore, a current installation of Python and a FORTRAN compiler are required. The ARCHANGEL package also contains Python hooks to the PGPLOT package, an XML processor and network tools which automatically link to data archives (i.e. NED, HST, 2MASS, etc) to download images in a non-interactive manner.

[ascl:1107.012] LIME: Flexible, Non-LTE Line Excitation and Radiation Transfer Method for Millimeter and Far-infrared Wavelengths

LIME solves the molecular and atomic excitation and radiation transfer problem in a molecular gas and predicting emergent spectra. The code works in arbitrary three dimensional geometry using unstructured Delaunay latices for the transport of photons. Various physical models can be used as input, ranging from analytical descriptions over tabulated models to SPH simulations. To generate the Delaunay grid we sample the input model randomly, but weigh the sample probability with the molecular density and other parameters, and thereby we obtain an average grid point separation that scales with the local opacity. Slow convergence of opaque models becomes traceable; when convergence between the level populations, the radiation field, and the point separation has been obtained, the grid is ray-traced to produced images that can readily be compared to observations. LIME is particularly well suited for modeling of ALMA data because of the high dynamic range in scales that can be resolved using this type of grid, and can furthermore deal with overlapping lines of multiple molecular and atomic species.

[ascl:1107.013] CASA: Common Astronomy Software Applications

CASA, the Common Astronomy Software Applications package, is being developed with the primary goal of supporting the data post-processing needs of the next generation of radio astronomical telescopes such as ALMA and EVLA. The package can process both interferometric and single dish data. The CASA infrastructure consists of a set of C++ tools bundled together under an iPython interface as a set of data reduction tasks. This structure provides flexibility to process the data via task interface or as a python script. In addition to the data reduction tasks, many post-processing tools are available for even more flexibility and special purpose reduction needs.

[ascl:1107.014] Clumpfind: Determining Structure in Molecular Clouds

We describe an automatic, objective routine for analyzing the clumpy structure in a spectral line position-position-velocity data cube. The algorithm works by first contouring the data at a multiple of the rms noise of the observations, then searches for peaks of emission which locate the clumps, and then follows them down to lower intensities. No a proiri clump profile is assumed. By creating simulated data, we test the performance of the algorithm and show that a contour map most accurately depicts internal structure at a contouring interval equal to twice the rms noise of the map. Blending of clump emission leads to small errors in mass and size determinations and in severe cases can result in a number of clumps being misidentified as a single unit, flattening the measured clump mass spectrum. The algorithm is applied to two real data sets as an example of its use. The Rosette molecular cloud is a 'typical' star-forming cloud, but in the Maddalena molecular cloud high-mass star formation is completely absent. Comparison of the two clump lists generated by the algorithm show that on a one-to-one basis the clumps in the star-forming cloud have higher peak temperatures, higher average densities, and are more gravitationally bound than in the non-star-forming cloud. Collective properties of the clumps, such as temperature-size-line-width-mass relations appear very similar, however. Contrary to the initial results reported in a previous paper (Williams & Blitz 1993), we find that the current, more thoroughly tested analysis finds no significant difference in the clump mass spectrum of the two clouds.

[ascl:1107.015] McLuster: A Tool to Make a Star Cluster

The tool McLuster is an open source code that can be used to either set up initial conditions for N-body computations or, alternatively, to generate artificial star clusters for direct investigation. There are two different versions of the code, one basic version for generating all kinds of unevolved clusters (in the following called mcluster) and one for setting up evolved stellar populations at a given age. The former is completely contained in the C file main.c. The latter (dubbed mcluster_sse) is more complex and requires additional FORTRAN routines, namely the Single-Star Evolution (SSE) routines by Hurley, Pols & Tout (ascl:1303.015) that are provided with the McLuster code.

[ascl:1107.016] SIGPROC: Pulsar Signal Processing Programs

SIGPROC is a package designed to standardize the initial analysis of the many types of fast-sampled pulsar data. Currently recognized machines are the Wide Band Arecibo Pulsar Processor (WAPP), the Penn State Pulsar Machine (PSPM), the Arecibo Observatory Fourier Transform Machine (AOFTM), the Berkeley Pulsar Processors (BPP), the Parkes/Jodrell 1-bit filterbanks (SCAMP) and the filterbank at the Ooty radio telescope (OOTY). The SIGPROC tools should help users look at their data quickly, without the need to write (yet) another routine to read data or worry about big/little endian compatibility (byte swapping is handled automatically).

[ascl:1107.017] PRESTO: PulsaR Exploration and Search TOolkit

PRESTO is a large suite of pulsar search and analysis software. It was primarily designed to efficiently search for binary millisecond pulsars from long observations of globular clusters (although it has since been used in several surveys with short integrations and to process a lot of X-ray data as well). To date, PRESTO has discovered well over a hundred and fifty pulsars, including approximately 100 recycled pulsars, about 80 of which are in binaries. It is written primarily in ANSI C, with many of the recent routines in Python.

Written with portability, ease-of-use, and memory efficiency in mind, it can currently handle raw data from the following pulsar machines or formats:

  • PSRFITS search-format data (as from GUPPI at the GBT and the Mock Spectrometers at Arecibo)
  • SPIGOT at the GBT
  • Most Wideband Arecibo Pulsar Processor (WAPP) at Arecibo
  • The Parkes and Jodrell Bank 1-bit filterbank formats
  • Berkeley-Caltech Pulsar Machine (BCPM) at the GBT (may it RIP...)
  • 8-bit filterbank format from SIGPROC (other formats will be added if required)
  • A time series composed of single precision (i.e. 4-byte) floating point data
  • Photon arrival times (or events) in ASCII or double-precision binary formats

[ascl:1107.018] HEALPix: Hierarchical Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelization of a sphere

HEALPix is an acronym for Hierarchical Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelization of a sphere. As suggested in the name, this pixelization produces a subdivision of a spherical surface in which each pixel covers the same surface area as every other pixel. Another property of the HEALPix grid is that the pixel centers occur on a discrete number of rings of constant latitude, the number of constant-latitude rings is dependent on the resolution of the HEALPix grid.

[ascl:1107.019] PSRPOP: Pulsar Population Modelling Programs

PSRPOP is a package developed to model the Galactic population and evolution of radio pulsars. It is a collection of modules written in Fortran77 for an analysis of a large sample of pulsars detected by the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey. The main programs are:

  • populate - creates a model Galaxy of pulsars distributed according according to various assumptions
  • survey - searches the model galaxies generated using populate using realistic models of pulsar surveys
  • visualize - a Tk/PGPLOT script to plot various aspects of model detected pulsars from survey
A sample screenshot from visualize can be found here.

[ascl:1106.001] AlterBBN: A program for calculating the BBN abundances of the elements in alternative cosmologies

AlterBBN evaluates the abundances of the elements generated by Big-Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). This program computes the abundances of the elements in the standard model of cosmology and allows the user to alter the assumptions of the cosmological model to study their consequences on the abundances of the elements. In particular the baryon-to-photon ratio and the effective number of neutrinos, as well as the expansion rate and the entropy content of the Universe during BBN can be modified in AlterBBN. Such features allow the user to test the cosmological models by confronting them to BBN constraints.

[ascl:1106.002] PHOEBE: PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs

PHOEBE (PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs) is a modeling package for eclipsing binary stars, built on top of the widely used WD program (Wilson & Devinney 1971). This introductory paper overviews most important scientific extensions (incorporating observational spectra of eclipsing binaries into the solution-seeking process, extracting individual temperatures from observed color indices, main-sequence constraining and proper treatment of the reddening), numerical innovations (suggested improvements to WD's Differential Corrections method, the new Nelder & Mead's downhill Simplex method) and technical aspects (back-end scripter structure, graphical user interface). While PHOEBE retains 100% WD compatibility, its add-ons are a powerful way to enhance WD by encompassing even more physics and solution reliability.

[ascl:1106.003] PLplot: Cross-platform Software Package for Scientific Plots

PLplot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots. To help accomplish that task it is organized as a core C library, language bindings for that library, and device drivers which control how the plots are presented in non-interactive and interactive plotting contexts. The PLplot core library can be used to create standard x-y plots, semi-log plots, log-log plots, contour plots, 3D surface plots, mesh plots, bar charts and pie charts. Multiple graphs (of the same or different sizes) may be placed on a single page, and multiple pages are allowed for those device formats that support them. PLplot has core support for Unicode. This means for our many Unicode-aware devices that plots can be labelled using the enormous selection of Unicode mathematical symbols. A large subset of our Unicode-aware devices also support complex text layout (CTL) languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Indic and Indic-derived CTL scripts such as Devanagari, Thai, Lao, and Tibetan. PLplot device drivers support a number of different file formats for non-interactive plotting and a number of different platforms that are suitable for interactive plotting. It is easy to add new device drivers to PLplot by writing a small number of device dependent routines.

[ascl:1106.004] E3D: The Euro3D Visualization Tool

E3D is a package of tools for the analysis and visualization of IFS data. It is capable of reading, writing, and visualizing reduced data from 3D spectrographs of any kind.

[ascl:1106.005] R3D: Reduction Package for Integral Field Spectroscopy

R3D was developed to reduce fiber-based integral field spectroscopy (IFS) data. The package comprises a set of command-line routines adapted for each of these steps, suitable for creating pipelines. The routines have been tested against simulations, and against real data from various integral field spectrographs (PMAS, PPAK, GMOS, VIMOS and INTEGRAL). Particular attention is paid to the treatment of cross-talk.

R3D unifies the reduction techniques for the different IFS instruments to a single one, in order to allow the general public to reduce different instruments data in an homogeneus, consistent and simple way. Although still in its prototyping phase, it has been proved to be useful to reduce PMAS (both in the Larr and the PPAK modes), VIMOS and INTEGRAL data. The current version has been coded in Perl, using PDL, in order to speed-up the algorithm testing phase. Most of the time critical algorithms have been translated to C[float=][/float], and it is our intention to translate all of them. However, even in this phase R3D is fast enough to produce valuable science frames in reasonable time.

[ascl:1106.006] MECI: A Method for Eclipsing Component Identification

We describe an automated method for assigning the most probable physical parameters to the components of an eclipsing binary, using only its photometric light curve and combined colors. With traditional methods, one attempts to optimize a multi-parameter model over many iterations, so as to minimize the chi-squared value. We suggest an alternative method, where one selects pairs of coeval stars from a set of theoretical stellar models, and compares their simulated light curves and combined colors with the observations. This approach greatly reduces the parameter space over which one needs to search, and allows one to estimate the components' masses, radii and absolute magnitudes, without spectroscopic data. We have implemented this method in an automated program using published theoretical isochrones and limb-darkening coefficients. Since it is easy to automate, this method lends itself to systematic analyses of datasets consisting of photometric time series of large numbers of stars, such as those produced by OGLE, MACHO, TrES, HAT, and many others surveys.

[ascl:1106.007] MIRIAD: Multi-channel Image Reconstruction, Image Analysis, and Display

MIRIAD is a radio interferometry data-reduction package, designed for taking raw visibility data through calibration to the image analysis stage. It has been designed to handle any interferometric array, with working examples for BIMA, CARMA, SMA, WSRT, and ATCA. A separate version for ATCA is available, which differs in a few minor ways from the CARMA version.

[ascl:1106.008] GRAFIC-2: Multiscale Gaussian Random Fields for Cosmological Simulations

This paper describes the generation of initial conditions for numerical simulations in cosmology with multiple levels of resolution, or multiscale simulations. We present the theory of adaptive mesh refinement of Gaussian random fields followed by the implementation and testing of a computer code package performing this refinement called GRAFIC-2.

[ascl:1106.009] PARAMESH V4.1: Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement

PARAMESH is a package of Fortran 90 subroutines designed to provide an application developer with an easy route to extend an existing serial code which uses a logically cartesian structured mesh into a parallel code with adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). Alternatively, in its simplest use, and with minimal effort, it can operate as a domain decomposition tool for users who want to parallelize their serial codes, but who do not wish to use adaptivity.

The package builds a hierarchy of sub-grids to cover the computational domain, with spatial resolution varying to satisfy the demands of the application. These sub-grid blocks form the nodes of a tree data-structure (quad-tree in 2D or oct-tree in 3D). Each grid block has a logically cartesian mesh. The package supports 1, 2 and 3D models. PARAMESH is released under the NASA-wide Open-Source software license.

[ascl:1106.010] MAGPHYS: Multi-wavelength Analysis of Galaxy Physical Properties

MAGPHYS is a self-contained, user-friendly model package to interpret observed spectral energy distributions of galaxies in terms of galaxy-wide physical parameters pertaining to the stars and the interstellar medium. MAGPHYS is optimized to derive statistical constraints of fundamental parameters related to star formation activity and dust content (e.g. star formation rate, stellar mass, dust attenuation, dust temperatures) of large samples of galaxies using a wide range of multi-wavelength observations. A Bayesian approach is used to interpret the SEDs all the way from the ultraviolet/optical to the far-infrared.

[ascl:1106.011] DRAGON: Galactic Cosmic Ray Diffusion Code

DRAGON adopts a second-order Cranck-Nicholson scheme with Operator Splitting and time overrelaxation to solve the diffusion equation. This provides a fast solution that is accurate enough for the average user. Occasionally, users may want to have very accurate solutions to their problem. To enable this feature, users may get close to the accurate solution by using the fast method, and then switch to a more accurate solution scheme featuring the Alternating-Direction-Implicit (ADI) Cranck-Nicholson scheme.

[ascl:1106.012] SLUG: Stochastically Lighting Up Galaxies

The effects of stochasticity on the luminosities of stellar populations are an often neglected but crucial element for understanding populations in the low mass or low star formation rate regime. To address this issue, we present SLUG, a new code to "Stochastically Light Up Galaxies". SLUG synthesizes stellar populations using a Monte Carlo technique that treats stochastic sampling properly including the effects of clustering, the stellar initial mass function, star formation history, stellar evolution, and cluster disruption. This code produces many useful outputs, including i) catalogs of star clusters and their properties, such as their stellar initial mass distributions and their photometric properties in a variety of filters, ii) two dimensional histograms of color-magnitude diagrams of every star in the simulation, iii) and the photometric properties of field stars and the integrated photometry of the entire simulated galaxy. After presenting the SLUG algorithm in detail, we validate the code through comparisons with starburst99 in the well-sampled regime, and with observed photometry of Milky Way clusters. Finally, we demonstrate the SLUG's capabilities by presenting outputs in the stochastic regime.

[ascl:1106.013] MGCAMB: Modification of Growth with CAMB

CAMB is a public Fortran 90 code written by Antony Lewis and Anthony Challinor for evaluating cosmological observables. MGCAMB is a modified version of CAMB in which the linearized Einstein equations of General Relativity (GR) are modified. MGCAMB can also be used in CosmoMC to fit different modified-gravity (MG) models to data.

[ascl:1106.014] Transit Analysis Package (TAP and autoKep): IDL Graphical User Interfaces for Extrasolar Planet Transit Photometry

We present an IDL graphical user interface-driven software package designed for the analysis of extrasolar planet transit light curves. The Transit Analysis Package (TAP) software uses Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques to fit light curves using the analytic model of Mandel and Agol (2002). The package incorporates a wavelet based likelihood function developed by Carter and Winn (2009) which allows the MCMC to assess parameter uncertainties more robustly than classic chi-squared methods by parameterizing uncorrelated "white" and correlated "red" noise. The software is able to simultaneously analyze multiple transits observed in different conditions (instrument, filter, weather, etc). The graphical interface allows for the simple execution and interpretation of Bayesian MCMC analysis tailored to a user's specific data set and has been thoroughly tested on ground-based and Kepler photometry. AutoKep provides a similar GUI for the preparation of Kepler MAST archive data for analysis by TAP or any other analysis software. This paper describes the software release and provides instructions for its use.

[ascl:1106.015] OrbFit: Software to Determine Orbits of Asteroids

OrbFit is a software system allowing one to compute the orbits of asteroids starting from the observations, to propagate these orbits, and to compute predictions on the future (and past) position on the celestial sphere. It is a tool to be used to find a well known asteroid, to recover a lost one, to attribute a small group of observations, to identify two orbits with each other, to study the future (and/or past) close approaches to Earth, thus to assess the risk of an impact, and more.

[ascl:1106.016] Nightfall: Animated Views of Eclipsing Binary Stars

Nightfall is an astronomy application for fun, education, and science. It can produce animated views of eclipsing binary stars, calculate synthetic lightcurves and radial velocity curves, and eventually determine the best-fit model for a given set of observational data of an eclipsing binary star system.

Nightfall comes with a user guide, and a set of observational data for several eclipsing binary star systems.

[ascl:1106.017] CAOS: Code for Adaptive Optics Systems

The CAOS "system" (where CAOS stands for Code for Adaptive Optics Systems) is properly said a Problem Solving Environment (PSE). It is essentially composed of a graphical programming interface (the CAOS Application Builder) which can load different packages (set of modules). Current publicly distributed packages are the Software Package CAOS (the original adaptive optics package), the Software Package AIRY (an image-reconstruction-oriented package - AIRY stands for Astronomical Image Restoration with interferometrY), the Software Package PAOLAC (a simple CAOS interface for the analytic IDL code PAOLA developed by Laurent Jolissaint - PAOLAC stands for PAOLA within Caos), and a couple of private packages (not publicly distributed but restricted to the corresponding consortia): SPHERE (especially developed for the VLT planet finder SPHERE), and AIRY-LN (a specialized version of AIRY for the LBT instrument LINC-NIRVANA). Another package is also being developed: MAOS (that stands for Multiconjugate Adaptive Optics Simulations), developed for multi-reference multiconjugate AO studies purpose but still in a beta-version form.

[ascl:1106.018] CMB B-modes from Faraday Rotation

This code is a quick and exact calculator of B-mode angular spectrum due to Faraday rotation by stochastic magnetic fields. Faraday rotation induced B-modes can provide a distinctive signature of primordial magnetic fields because of their characteristic frequency dependence and because they are only weakly damped on small scales, allowing them to dominate B-modes from other sources. By numerically solving the full CMB radiative transport equations, we study the B-mode power spectrum induced by stochastic magnetic fields that have significant power on scales smaller than the thickness of the last scattering surface. Constraints on the magnetic field energy density and inertial scale are derived from WMAP 7-year data, and are stronger than the big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) bound for a range of parameters. Observations of the CMB polarization at smaller angular scales are crucial to provide tighter constraints or a detection.

[ascl:1106.019] Application of Compressive Sampling to Radio Astronomy I: Deconvolution

Compressive sampling is a new paradigm for sampling, based on sparseness of signals or signal representations. It is much less restrictive than Nyquist-Shannon sampling theory and thus explains and systematises the widespread experience that methods such as the Högbom CLEAN can violate the Nyquist-Shannon sampling requirements. In this paper, a CS-based deconvolution method for extended sources is introduced. This method can reconstruct both point sources and extended sources (using the isotropic undecimated wavelet transform as a basis function for the reconstruction step). We compare this CS-based deconvolution method with two CLEAN-based deconvolution methods: the Högbom CLEAN and the multiscale CLEAN. This new method shows the best performance in deconvolving extended sources for both uniform and natural weighting of the sampled visibilities. Both visual and numerical results of the comparison are provided.

[ascl:1106.020] CLASS: Cosmic Linear Anisotropy Solving System

Boltzmann codes are used extensively by several groups for constraining cosmological parameters with Cosmic Microwave Background and Large Scale Structure data. This activity is computationally expensive, since a typical project requires from 10'000 to 100'000 Boltzmann code executions. The newly released code CLASS (Cosmic Linear Anisotropy Solving System) incorporates improved approximation schemes leading to a simultaneous gain in speed and precision. We describe here the three approximations used by CLASS for basic LambdaCDM models, namely: a baryon-photon tight-coupling approximation which can be set to first order, second order or to a compromise between the two; an ultra-relativistic fluid approximation which had not been implemented in public distributions before; and finally a radiation streaming approximation taking reionisation into account.

[ascl:1106.021] StringFast: Fast Code to Compute CMB Power Spectra induced by Cosmic Strings

StringFast implements a method for efficient computation of the C_l spectra induced by a network of strings, which is fast enough to be used in Markov Chain Monte Carlo analyses of future data. This code allows the user to calculate TT, EE, and BB power spectra (scalar [for TT and EE], vector, and tensor modes) for "wiggly" cosmic strings. StringFast uses the output of the public code CMBACT. The properties of the strings are described by four parameters:

  • Gμ: dimensionless string tension
  • v: rms transverse velocity (as fraction of c)
  • α: "wiggliness"
  • ξ: comoving correlation length of the string network
It is written as a Fortran 90 module.

[ascl:1106.022] MPI-Defrost: Extension of Defrost to MPI-based Cluster Environment

MPI-Defrost extends Frolov’s Defrost to an MPI-based cluster environment. This version has been restricted to a single field. Restoring two-field support should be straightforward, but will require some code changes. Some output options may also not be fully supported under MPI.

This code was produced to support our own work, and has been made available for the benefit of anyone interested in either oscillon simulations or an MPI capable version of Defrost, and it is provided on an "as-is" basis. Andrei Frolov is the primary developer of Defrost and we thank him for placing his work under the GPL (GNU Public License), and thus allowing us to distribute this modified version.

[ascl:1106.023] CMBACT: CMB from ACTive sources

This code is based on the cosmic string model described in this paper by Pogosian and Vachaspati, as well as on the CMBFAST code created by Uros Seljak and Matias Zaldarriaga. It contains an integrator for the vector contribution to the CMB temperature and polarization. The code is reconfigured to make it easier to use with or without active sources. To produce inflationary CMB spectra one simply sets the string tension to zero (gmu=0.0d0). For a non-zero value of tension only the string contribution is calculated.

An option is added to randomize the directions of velocities of consolidated segments as they evolve in time. In the original segment model, which is still the default version (irandomv=0), each segment is given a random velocity initially, but then continues to move in a straight line for the rest of its life. The new option (irandomv=1) allows to additionally randomize velocities of each segment at roughly each Hubble time. However, the merits of this new option are still under investigation. The default version (irandomv=0) is strongly recommended, since it actually gives reasonable unequal time correlators. For each Fourier mode, k, the string stress-energy components are now evaluated on a time grid sufficiently fine for that k.

[ascl:1106.024] ELMAG: Simulation of Electromagnetic Cascades

A Monte Carlo program for the simulation of electromagnetic cascades initiated by high-energy photons and electrons interacting with extragalactic background light (EBL) is presented. Pair production and inverse Compton scattering on EBL photons as well as synchrotron losses and deflections of the charged component in extragalactic magnetic fields (EGMF) are included in the simulation. Weighted sampling of the cascade development is applied to reduce the number of secondary particles and to speed up computations. As final result, the simulation procedure provides the energy, the observation angle, and the time delay of secondary cascade particles at the present epoch. Possible applications are the study of TeV blazars and the influence of the EGMF on their spectra or the calculation of the contribution from ultrahigh energy cosmic rays or dark matter to the diffuse extragalactic gamma-ray background. As an illustration, we present results for deflections and time-delays relevant for the derivation of limits on the EGMF.

[ascl:1106.025] CosmoMC: Cosmological MonteCarlo

We present a fast Markov Chain Monte-Carlo exploration of cosmological parameter space. We perform a joint analysis of results from recent CMB experiments and provide parameter constraints, including sigma_8, from the CMB independent of other data. We next combine data from the CMB, HST Key Project, 2dF galaxy redshift survey, supernovae Ia and big-bang nucleosynthesis. The Monte Carlo method allows the rapid investigation of a large number of parameters, and we present results from 6 and 9 parameter analyses of flat models, and an 11 parameter analysis of non-flat models. Our results include constraints on the neutrino mass (m_nu < 0.3eV), equation of state of the dark energy, and the tensor amplitude, as well as demonstrating the effect of additional parameters on the base parameter constraints. In a series of appendices we describe the many uses of importance sampling, including computing results from new data and accuracy correction of results generated from an approximate method. We also discuss the different ways of converting parameter samples to parameter constraints, the effect of the prior, assess the goodness of fit and consistency, and describe the use of analytic marginalization over normalization parameters.

[ascl:1106.026] RECFAST: Calculate the Recombination History of the Universe

RECFAST calculates the recombination of H, HeI, and HeII in the early Universe; this involves a line-by-line treatment of each atomic level. It differs in comparison to previous calculations in two major ways: firstly, the ionization fraction x_e is approximately 10% smaller for redshifts <~800, due to non-equilibrium processes in the excited states of H, and secondly, HeI recombination is much slower than previously thought, and is delayed until just before H recombines. RECFAST enables fast computation of the ionization history (and quantities such as the power spectrum of CMB anisotropies which depend on it) for arbitrary cosmologies.

[ascl:1105.001] STILTS: Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library Tool Set

The STIL Tool Set is a set of command-line tools based on STIL, the Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library. It deals with the processing of tabular data; the package has been designed for, but is not restricted to, astronomical tables such as object catalogues. Some of the tools are generic and can work with multiple formats (including FITS, VOTable, CSV, SQL and ASCII), and others are specific to the VOTable format. In some ways, STILTS forms the command-line counterpart of the GUI table analysis tool TOPCAT. The package is robust, fully documented, and designed for efficiency, especially with very large datasets.

Facilities offered include:

  • format conversion
  • crossmatching
  • plotting
  • column calculation and rearrangement
  • row selections
  • data and metadata manipulation and display
  • sorting
  • statistical calculations
  • histogram calculation
  • data validation
  • VO service access
A powerful and extensible expression language is used for specifying data calculations. These facilities can be put together in very flexible and efficient ways. For tasks in which the data can be streamed, the size of table STILTS can process is effectively unlimited. For other tasks, million-row tables usually do not present a problem. STILTS is written in pure Java (J2SE1.5 or later), and can be run from the command line or from Jython, or embedded into java applications. It is released under the GPL.

[ascl:1105.002] PACCE: Perl Algorithm to Compute Continuum and Equivalent Widths

We present Perl Algorithm to Compute continuum and Equivalent Widths (pacce). We describe the methods used in the computations and the requirements for its usage. We compare the measurements made with pacce and "manual" ones made using iraf splot task. These tests show that for SSP models the equivalent widths strengths are very similar (differences <0.2A) for both measurements. In real stellar spectra, the correlation between both values is still very good, but with differences of up to 0.5A. pacce is also able to determine mean continuum and continuum at line center values, which are helpful in stellar population studies. In addition, it is also able to compute the uncertainties in the equivalent widths using photon statistics.

[ascl:1105.003] The DTFE public software: The Delaunay Tessellation Field Estimator code

We present the DTFE public software, a code for reconstructing fields from a discrete set of samples/measurements using the maximum of information contained in the point distribution. The code is written in C++ using the CGAL library and is parallelized using OpenMP. The software was designed for the analysis of cosmological data but can be used in other fields where one must interpolate quantities given at a discrete point set. The software comes with a wide suite of options to facilitate the analysis of 2- and 3-dimensional data and of both numerical simulations and galaxy redshift surveys. For comparison purposes, the code also implements the TSC and SPH grid interpolation methods. The code comes with an extensive user guide detailing the program options, examples and the inner workings of the code.

[ascl:1105.004] SLiM: A Code for the Simulation of Wave Propagation through an Inhomogeneous, Magnetised Solar Atmosphere

The semi-spectral linear MHD (SLiM) code follows the interaction of linear waves through an inhomogeneous three-dimensional solar atmosphere. The background model allows almost arbitrary perturbations of density, temperature, sound speed as well as magnetic and velocity fields. The code is useful in understanding the helioseismic signatures of various solar features, including sunspots.

[ascl:1105.005] ChaNGa: Charm N-body GrAvity solver

ChaNGa (Charm N-body GrAvity solver) performs collisionless N-body simulations. It can perform cosmological simulations with periodic boundary conditions in comoving coordinates or simulations of isolated stellar systems. It also can include hydrodynamics using the Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) technique. It uses a Barnes-Hut tree to calculate gravity, with hexadecapole expansion of nodes and Ewald summation for periodic forces. Timestepping is done with a leapfrog integrator with individual timesteps for each particle.

[ascl:1105.006] SPARC: Seismic Propagation through Active Regions and Convection

The Seismic Propagation through Active Regions and Convection (SPARC) code was developed by S. Hanasoge. The acoustic wavefield in SPARC is simulated by numerically solving the linearised 3-D Euler equations in Cartesian geometry (e.g., see Hanasoge, Duvall and Couvidat (2007)). Spatial derivatives are calculated using sixth-order compact finite differences (Lele,1992) and time evolution is achieved through the repeated application of an optimized second-order five-stage Runge-Kutta scheme (Hu, 1996). Periodic horizontal boundaries are used.

[ascl:1105.007] Sunspot Models

This IDL code creates a thick magneto-static structure with parameters of a typical sunspot in a solar like photosphere - chromosphere. The variable parameters are field strength on the axis, radius, and Wilson depression (displacement of the atmosphere on the axis with respect to the field-free atmosphere). Output are magnetic field vector, pressure and density distributions with radius and height. The structure has azimuthal symmetry. The codes are relatively self explanatory and the download packages contain README files.

[ascl:1105.008] Flux Tube Model

This Fortran code computes magnetohydrostatic flux tubes and sheets according to the method of Steiner, Pneuman, & Stenflo (1986) A&A 170, 126-137. The code has many parameters contained in one input file that are easily modified. Extensive documentation is provided in README files.

[ascl:1105.009] Ray Tracing Codes: run_tau, run_raypath, and ray_kernel

Time-distance helioseismology aims to measure and interpret the travel times of waves propagating between two points located on the solar surface. The travel times are then inverted to infer sub-surface properties that are encoded in the measurements. The trajectory of the waves generally follows that of the infinite-frequency ray path, although they are sensitive to perturbations off of this path. Finite-frequency sensitivity kernels are thus needed to give more accurate inversion results.

Ray tracing codes calculate travel time kernels for a ray. There are three main codes which calculate the group time as a function of distance, the ray paths as well as the phase and group times along the path, and the ray kernels for the sound speed squared.

[ascl:1105.010] CASTRO: Multi-dimensional Eulerian AMR Radiation-hydrodynamics Code

CASTRO is a multi-dimensional Eulerian AMR radiation-hydrodynamics code that includes stellar equations of state, nuclear reaction networks, and self-gravity. Initial target applications for CASTRO include Type Ia and Type II supernovae. CASTRO supports calculations in 1-d, 2-d and 3-d Cartesian coordinates, as well as 1-d spherical and 2-d cylindrical (r-z) coordinate systems. Time integration of the hydrodynamics equations is based on an unsplit version of the the piecewise parabolic method (PPM) with new limiters that avoid reducing the accuracy of the scheme at smooth extrema. CASTRO can follow an arbitrary number of isotopes or elements. The atomic weights and amounts of these elements are used to calculate the mean molecular weight of the gas required by the equation of state. CASTRO supports several different approaches to solving for self-gravity. The most general is a full Poisson solve for the gravitational potential. CASTRO also supports a monopole approximation for gravity, and a constant gravity option is also available. The CASTRO software is written in C++ and Fortran, and is based on the BoxLib software framework developed by CCSE.

[ascl:1105.011] Ganalyzer: A tool for automatic galaxy image analysis

Ganalyzer is a model-based tool that automatically analyzes and classifies galaxy images. Ganalyzer works by separating the galaxy pixels from the background pixels, finding the center and radius of the galaxy, generating the radial intensity plot, and then computing the slopes of the peaks detected in the radial intensity plot to measure the spirality of the galaxy and determine its morphological class. Unlike algorithms that are based on machine learning, Ganalyzer is based on measuring the spirality of the galaxy, a task that is difficult to perform manually, and in many cases can provide a more accurate analysis compared to manual observation. Ganalyzer is simple to use, and can be easily embedded into other image analysis applications. Another advantage is its speed, which allows it to analyze ~10,000,000 galaxy images in five days using a standard modern desktop computer. These capabilities can make Ganalyzer a useful tool in analyzing large datasets of galaxy images collected by autonomous sky surveys such as SDSS, LSST or DES.

[ascl:1105.012] Stagger: MHD Method for Modeling Star Formation

Stagger is an astrophysical MHD code actively used to model star formation. It is equipped with a multi-frequency radiative transfer module and a comprehensive equation of state module that includes a large number of atomic and molecular species, to be able to compute realistic 3-D models of the near-surface layers of stars. The current version of the code allows a discretization that explicitly conserves mass, momentum, energy, and magnetic flux. The tensor formulation of the viscosity ensures that the viscous force is insensitive to the coordinate system orientation, thereby avoiding artificial grid-alignment.

[ascl:1105.013] CAMB Sources: Number Counts, Lensing & Dark-age 21cm Power Spectra

We relate the observable number of sources per solid angle and redshift to the underlying proper source density and velocity, background evolution and line-of-sight potentials. We give an exact result in the case of linearized perturbations assuming general relativity. This consistently includes contributions of the source density perturbations and redshift distortions, magnification, radial displacement, and various additional linear terms that are small on sub-horizon scales. In addition we calculate the effect on observed luminosities, and hence the result for sources observed as a function of flux, including magnification bias and radial-displacement effects. We give the corresponding linear result for a magnitude-limited survey at low redshift, and discuss the angular power spectrum of the total count distribution. We also calculate the cross-correlation with the CMB polarization and temperature including Doppler source terms, magnification, redshift distortions and other velocity effects for the sources, and discuss why the contribution of redshift distortions is generally small. Finally we relate the result for source number counts to that for the brightness of line radiation, for example 21-cm radiation, from the sources.

[ascl:1105.014] PSRCHIVE: Development Library for the Analysis of Pulsar Astronomical Data

PSRCHIVE is an Open Source C++ development library for the analysis of pulsar astronomical data. It implements an extensive range of algorithms for use in pulsar timing, polarimetric calibration, single-pulse analyses, RFI mitigation, scintillation studies, etc. These tools are utilized by a powerful suite of user-end programs that come with the library.

[ascl:1104.001] TomograPy: A Fast, Instrument-Independent, Solar Tomography Software

TomograPy is an open-source software freely available on the Python Package Index that can perform fast tomographic inversions that scale linearly with the number of measurements, linearly with the length of the reconstruction cube (and not the number of voxels) and linearly with the number of cores and can use data from different sources and with a variety of physical models. For performance, TomograPy uses a parallelized-projection algorithm. It relies on the World Coordinate System standard to manage various data sources. A variety of inversion algorithms are provided to perform the tomographic-map estimation. A test suite is provided along with the code to ensure software quality. Since it makes use of the Siddon algorithm it is restricted to rectangular parallelepiped voxels but the spherical geometry of the corona can be handled through proper use of priors.

[ascl:1104.002] AstroBEAR: Adaptive Mesh Refinement Code for Ideal Hydrodynamics & Magnetohydrodynamics

AstroBEAR is a modular hydrodynamic & magnetohydrodynamic code environment designed for a variety of astrophysical applications. It uses the BEARCLAW package, a multidimensional, Eulerian computational code used to solve hyperbolic systems of equations. AstroBEAR allows adaptive-mesh-refinment (AMR) simulations in 2, 2.5 (i.e., cylindrical), and 3 dimensions, in either cartesian or curvilinear coordinates. Parallel applications are supported through the MPI architecture. AstroBEAR is written in Fortran 90/95 using standard libraries.

AstroBEAR supports hydrodynamic (HD) and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) applications using a variety of spatial and temporal methods. MHD simulations are kept divergence-free via the constrained transport (CT) methods of Balsara & Spicer. Three different equation of state environments are available: ideal gas, gas with differing isentropic γ, and the analytic Thomas-Fermi formulation of A.R. Bell.

[ascl:1104.003] Starburst99: Synthesis Models for Galaxies with Active Star Formation

Starburst99 is a comprehensive set of model predictions for spectrophotometric and related properties of galaxies with active star formation. The models are presented in a homogeneous way for five metallicities between Z = 0.040 and 0.001 and three choices of the initial mass function. The age coverage is 10^6 to 10^9 yr. Spectral energy distributions are used to compute colors and other quantities.

[ascl:1104.004] MASSCLEAN: MASSive CLuster Evolution and ANalysis Package

MASSCLEAN is a sophisticated and robust stellar cluster image and photometry simulation package. This package is able to create color-magnitude diagrams and standard FITS images in any of the traditional optical and near-infrared bands based on cluster characteristics input by the user, including but not limited to distance, age, mass, radius and extinction. At the limit of very distant, unresolved clusters, we have checked the integrated colors created in MASSCLEAN against those from other simple stellar population (SSP) models with consistent results. Because the algorithm populates the cluster with a discrete number of tenable stars, it can be used as part of a Monte Carlo Method to derive the probabilistic range of characteristics (integrated colors, for example) consistent with a given cluster mass and age.

[ascl:1104.005] GALAXEV: Evolutionary Stellar Population Synthesis Models

GALAXEV is a library of evolutionary stellar population synthesis models computed using the new isochrone synthesis code of Bruzual & Charlot (2003). This code allows one to computes the spectral evolution of stellar populations in wide ranges of ages and metallicities at a resolution of 3 Å across the whole wavelength range from 3200 Å to 9500 Å, and at lower resolution outside this range.

[ascl:1104.006] LECTOR: Line-strengths in One-dimensional ASCII Spectra

LECTOR is a Fortran 77 code that measures line-strengths in one dimensional ascii spectra. The code returns the values of the Lick indices as well as those of Vazdekis & Arimoto 1999, Vazdekis et al. 2001, Rose 1994, Jones & Worthey 1995 and Cenarro et al. 2001. The code measures as many indices as you wish if the limits of two pseudocontinua (at each side of the feature) and the feature itself (i.e. Lick-style index definition) are provided. The Lick-style indices could be either expressed in pseudo-equivalent widths or in magnitudes. If requested the program provides index error estimates on the basis of photon statistics.

[ascl:1104.007] ULySS: A Full Spectrum Fitting Package

ULySS (University of Lyon Spectroscopic Analysis Software) is an open-source software package written in the GDL/IDL language to analyze astronomical data. ULySS fits a spectrum with a linear combination of non-linear components convolved with a line-of-sight velocity distribution (LOSVD) and multiplied by a polynomial continuum. ULySS is used to study stellar populations of galaxies and star clusters and atmospheric parameters of stars.

[ascl:1104.008] Rmodel: Determining Stellar Population Parameters

This program determines stellar population parameters (e.g. age, metallicity, IMF slope,...), using as input a pair of line-strength indices, through the interpolation in SSP model predictions. Both linear and bivariate fits are computed to perform the interpolation.

[ascl:1104.009] r-Java: An r-process Code and Graphical User Interface for Heavy-Element Nucleosynthesis

We present r-Java, an r-process code for open use, that performs r-process nucleosynthesis calculations. Equipped with a simple graphical user interface, r-Java is capable of carrying out nuclear statistical equilibrium (NSE) as well as static and dynamic r-process calculations for a wide range of input parameters. In this introductory paper, we present the motivation and details behind r-Java, and results from our static and dynamic simulations. Static simulations are explored for a range of neutron irradiation and temperatures. Dynamic simulations are studied with a parameterized expansion formula. Our code generates the resulting abundance pattern based on a general entropy expression that can be applied to degenerate as well as non-degenerate matter, allowing us to track the rapid density and temperature evolution of the ejecta during the initial stages of ejecta expansion. At present, our calculations are limited to the waiting-point approximation.

[ascl:1104.010] GALFIT: Detailed Structural Decomposition of Galaxy Images

GALFIT is a two-dimensional (2-D) fitting algorithm designed to extract structural components from galaxy images, with emphasis on closely modeling light profiles of spatially well-resolved, nearby galaxies observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. The algorithm improves on previous techniques in two areas: 1.) by being able to simultaneously fit a galaxy with an arbitrary number of components, and 2.) with optimization in computation speed, suited for working on large galaxy images. 2-D models such as the "Nuker'' law, the Sersic (de Vaucouleurs) profile, an exponential disk, and Gaussian or Moffat functions are used. The azimuthal shapes are generalized ellipses that can fit disky and boxy components. Many galaxies with complex isophotes, ellipticity changes, and position-angle twists can be modeled accurately in 2-D. When examined in detail, even simple-looking galaxies generally require at least three components to be modeled accurately rather than the one or two components more often employed. This is illustrated by way of seven case studies, which include regular and barred spiral galaxies, highly disky lenticular galaxies, and elliptical galaxies displaying various levels of complexities. A useful extension of this algorithm is to accurately extract nuclear point sources in galaxies.

[ascl:1104.011] DAOPHOT: Crowded-field Stellar Photometry Package

The DAOPHOT program exploits the capability of photometrically linear image detectors to perform stellar photometry in crowded fields. Raw CCD images are prepared prior to analysis, and following the obtaining of an initial star list with the FIND program, synthetic aperture photometry is performed on the detected objects with the PHOT routine. A local sky brightness and a magnitude are computed for each star in each of the specified stellar apertures, and for crowded fields, the empirical point-spread function must then be obtained for each data frame. The GROUP routine divides the star list for a given frame into optimum subgroups, and then the NSTAR routine is used to obtain photometry for all the stars in the frame by means of least-squares profile fits.

[ascl:1104.012] CHIWEI: A Code of Goodness of Fit Tests for Weighted and Unweighed Histograms

A self-contained Fortran-77 program for goodness of fit tests for histograms with weighted entries as well as with unweighted entries is presented. The code calculates test statistic for case of histogram with normalized weights of events and for case of unnormalized weights of events.

[ascl:1104.013] BEARCLAW: Boundary Embedded Adaptive Refinement Conservation LAW package

The BEARCLAW package is a multidimensional, Eulerian AMR-capable computational code written in Fortran to solve hyperbolic systems for astrophysical applications. It is part of AstroBEAR, a hydrodynamic & magnetohydrodynamic code environment designed for a variety of astrophysical applications which allows simulations in 2, 2.5 (i.e., cylindrical), and 3 dimensions, in either cartesian or curvilinear coordinates.

[ascl:1104.014] A Correction to the Standard Galactic Reddening Map: Passive Galaxies as Standard Crayons

We present corrections to the Schlegel, Finkbeiner, Davis (SFD98) reddening maps over the Sloan Digital Sky Survey northern Galactic cap area. To find these corrections, we employ what we dub the "standard crayon" method, in which we use passively evolving galaxies as color standards by which to measure deviations from the reddening map. We select these passively evolving galaxies spectroscopically, using limits on the H alpha and O II equivalent widths to remove all star-forming galaxies from the SDSS main galaxy catalog. We find that by correcting for known reddening, redshift, color-magnitude relation, and variation of color with environmental density, we can reduce the scatter in color to below 3% in the bulk of the 151,637 galaxies we select. Using these galaxies we construct maps of the deviation from the SFD98 reddening map at 4.5 degree resolution, with 1-sigma error of ~ 1.5 millimagnitudes E(B-V). We find that the SFD98 maps are largely accurate with most of the map having deviations below 3 millimagnitudes E(B-V), though some regions do deviate from SFD98 by as much as 50%. The maximum deviation found is 45 millimagnitudes in E(B-V), and spatial structure of the deviation is strongly correlated with the observed dust temperature, such that SFD98 underpredicts reddening in regions of low dust temperature. The maps of these deviations, as well as their errors, are made available to the scientific community as supplemental correction to SFD98 at the URL below.

[ascl:1103.001] Difmap: Synthesis Imaging of Visibility Data

Difmap is a program developed for synthesis imaging of visibility data from interferometer arrays of radio telescopes world-wide. Its prime advantages over traditional packages are its emphasis on interactive processing, speed, and the use of Difference mapping techniques.

[ascl:1103.002] PGPLOT: Device-independent Graphics Package for Simple Scientific Graphs

The PGPLOT Graphics Subroutine Library is a Fortran- or C-callable, device-independent graphics package for making simple scientific graphs. It is intended for making graphical images of publication quality with minimum effort on the part of the user. For most applications, the program can be device-independent, and the output can be directed to the appropriate device at run time.

The PGPLOT library consists of two major parts: a device-independent part and a set of device-dependent "device handler" subroutines for output on various terminals, image displays, dot-matrix printers, laser printers, and pen plotters. Common file formats supported include PostScript and GIF.

PGPLOT itself is written mostly in standard Fortran-77, with a few non-standard, system-dependent subroutines. PGPLOT subroutines can be called directly from a Fortran-77 or Fortran-90 program. A C binding library (cpgplot) and header file (cpgplot.h) are provided that allow PGPLOT to be called from a C or C++ program; the binding library handles conversion between C and Fortran argument-passing conventions.

[ascl:1103.003] S2PLOT: Three-dimensional (3D) Plotting Library

We present a new, three-dimensional (3D) plotting library with advanced features, and support for standard and enhanced display devices. The library - S2PLOT - is written in C and can be used by C, C++ and FORTRAN programs on GNU/Linux and Apple/OSX systems. S2PLOT draws objects in a 3D (x,y,z) Cartesian space and the user interactively controls how this space is rendered at run time. With a PGPLOT inspired interface, S2PLOT provides astronomers with elegant techniques for displaying and exploring 3D data sets directly from their program code, and the potential to use stereoscopic and dome display devices. The S2PLOT architecture supports dynamic geometry and can be used to plot time-evolving data sets, such as might be produced by simulation codes. In this paper, we introduce S2PLOT to the astronomical community, describe its potential applications, and present some example uses of the library.

[ascl:1103.004] SPLASH: Interactive Visualization Tool for Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Simulations

SPLASH (formerly SUPERSPHPLOT) visualizes output from (astrophysical) simulations using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method in one, two and three dimensions. Written in Fortran 90, it uses the PGPLOT graphics subroutine library for plotting. It is based around a command-line menu structure but utilizes the interactive capabilities of PGPLOT to manipulate data interactively in the plotting window. SPLASH is fully interactive; visualizations can be changed rapidly at the touch of a button (e.g. zooming, rotating, shifting cross section positions etc). Data is read directly from the code dump format giving rapid access to results and the visualization is advanced forwards and backwards through timesteps by single keystrokes. SPLASH uses the SPH kernel to render plots of not only density but other physical quantities, giving a smooth representation of the data.

[ascl:1103.005] Splotch: Ray Tracer to Visualize SPH Simulations

Splotch is a light and fast, publicly available, ray-tracer software tool which supports the effective visualization of cosmological simulations data. The algorithm it relies on is designed to deal with point-like data, optimizing the ray-tracing calculation by ordering the particles as a function of their 'depth', defined as a function of one of the coordinates or other associated parameters. Realistic three-dimensional impressions are reached through a composition of the final colour in each pixel properly calculating emission and absorption of individual volume elements.

[ascl:1103.006] GLESP 2.0: Gauss-Legendre Sky Pixelization for CMB Analysis

GLESP is a pixelization scheme for the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation maps. This scheme is based on the Gauss-Legendre polynomials zeros and allows one to create strict orthogonal expansion of the map.

[ascl:1103.007] VisIt: Interactive Parallel Visualization and Graphical Analysis Tool

VisIt is a free interactive parallel visualization and graphical analysis tool for viewing scientific data on Unix and PC platforms. Users can quickly generate visualizations from their data, animate them through time, manipulate them, and save the resulting images for presentations. VisIt contains a rich set of visualization features so that you can view your data in a variety of ways. It can be used to visualize scalar and vector fields defined on two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) structured and unstructured meshes. VisIt was designed to handle very large data set sizes in the terascale range and yet can also handle small data sets in the kilobyte range. See the table below for more details about the tool’s features.

VisIt was developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative (ASCI) to visualize and analyze the results of terascale simulations. It was developed as a framework for adding custom capabilities and rapidly deploying new visualization technologies. Although the primary driving force behind the development of VisIt was for visualizing terascale data, it is also well suited for visualizing data from typical simulations on desktop systems.

[ascl:1103.008] Parallel HOP: A Scalable Halo Finder for Massive Cosmological Data Sets

Modern N-body cosmological simulations contain billions ($10^9$) of dark matter particles. These simulations require hundreds to thousands of gigabytes of memory, and employ hundreds to tens of thousands of processing cores on many compute nodes. In order to study the distribution of dark matter in a cosmological simulation, the dark matter halos must be identified using a halo finder, which establishes the halo membership of every particle in the simulation. The resources required for halo finding are similar to the requirements for the simulation itself. In particular, simulations have become too extensive to use commonly-employed halo finders, such that the computational requirements to identify halos must now be spread across multiple nodes and cores. Here we present a scalable-parallel halo finding method called Parallel HOP for large-scale cosmological simulation data. Based on the halo finder HOP, it utilizes MPI and domain decomposition to distribute the halo finding workload across multiple compute nodes, enabling analysis of much larger datasets than is possible with the strictly serial or previous parallel implementations of HOP. We provide a reference implementation of this method as a part of the toolkit yt, an analysis toolkit for Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) data that includes complementary analysis modules. Additionally, we discuss a suite of benchmarks that demonstrate that this method scales well up to several hundred tasks and datasets in excess of $2000^3$ particles. The Parallel HOP method and our implementation can be readily applied to any kind of N-body simulation data and is therefore widely applicable. Parallel HOP is part of yt.

[ascl:1103.009] SPHRAY: A Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Ray Tracer for Radiative Transfer

SPHRAY, a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) ray tracer, is designed to solve the 3D, time dependent, radiative transfer (RT) equations for arbitrary density fields. The SPH nature of SPHRAY makes the incorporation of separate hydrodynamics and gravity solvers very natural. SPHRAY relies on a Monte Carlo (MC) ray tracing scheme that does not interpolate the SPH particles onto a grid but instead integrates directly through the SPH kernels. Given initial conditions and a description of the sources of ionizing radiation, the code will calculate the non-equilibrium ionization state (HI, HII, HeI, HeII, HeIII, e) and temperature (internal energy/entropy) of each SPH particle. The sources of radiation can include point like objects, diffuse recombination radiation, and a background field from outside the computational volume. The MC ray tracing implementation allows for the quick introduction of new physics and is parallelization friendly. A quick Axis Aligned Bounding Box (AABB) test taken from computer graphics applications allows for the acceleration of the raytracing component. We present the algorithms used in SPHRAY and verify the code by performing all the test problems detailed in the recent Radiative Transfer Comparison Project of Iliev et. al. The Fortran 90 source code for SPHRAY and example SPH density fields are made available online.

[ascl:1103.010] Hydra: A Parallel Adaptive Grid Code

We describe the first parallel implementation of an adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh code with smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Parallelisation of the serial code, "Hydra," is achieved by using CRAFT, a Cray proprietary language which allows rapid implementation of a serial code on a parallel machine by allowing global addressing of distributed memory.

The collisionless variant of the code has already completed several 16.8 million particle cosmological simulations on a 128 processor Cray T3D whilst the full hydrodynamic code has completed several 4.2 million particle combined gas and dark matter runs. The efficiency of the code now allows parameter-space explorations to be performed routinely using $64^3$ particles of each species. A complete run including gas cooling, from high redshift to the present epoch requires approximately 10 hours on 64 processors.

[ascl:1103.011] AP3M: Adaptive Particle-particle, Particle-mesh Code

AP3M is an adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh code. It is older than Hydra (ascl:1103.010) but faster and more memory-efficient for dark-matter only calculations. The Adaptive P3M technique (AP3M) is built around the standard P3M algorithm. AP3M produces fully equivalent forces to P3M but represents a more efficient implementation of the force splitting idea of P3M. The AP3M program may be used in any of the three modes with an appropriate choice of input parameter.

[ascl:1103.012] Pyflation: Second Order Perturbations During Inflation Beyond Slow-roll

Pyflation is a Python package for calculating cosmological perturbations during an inflationary expansion of the universe. The modules in the pyflation Python package can be used to run simulations of different scalar field models of the early universe. The main classes are contained in the cosmomodels module and include simulations of background fields and first order and second order perturbations. The sourceterm package contains modules required for the computation of the term required for the evolution of second order perturbations.

Alongside the Python package, the bin directory contains Python scripts which can run first and second order simulations. A helper script called sets up a full second order run (including background, first order and source calculations) to be used on queueing system which contains the qsub executable (e.g. a Rocks cluster).

[ascl:1103.014] ParaView: Data Analysis and Visualization Application

ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data exploration can be done interactively in 3D or programmatically using ParaView's batch processing capabilities.

ParaView was developed to analyze extremely large datasets using distributed memory computing resources. It can be run on supercomputers to analyze datasets of terascale as well as on laptops for smaller data.

[ascl:1103.015] Cloudy_3D: Quick Pseudo-3D Photoionization Code

We developed a new quick pseudo-3D photoionization code based on Cloudy (G. Ferland) and IDL (RSI) tools. The code is running the 1D photoionization code Cloudy various times, changing at each run the input parameters (e.g. inner radius, density law) according to an angular law describing the morphology of the object. Then a cube is generated by interpolating the outputs of Cloudy. In each cell of the cube, the physical conditions (electron temperature and density, ionic fractions) and the emissivities of lines are determined. Associated tools (VISNEB and VELNEB_3D) are used to rotate the nebula and to compute surface brightness maps and emission line profiles, given a velocity law and taking into account the effect of the thermal broadening and eventually the turbulence. Integrated emission line profiles are computed, given aperture shapes and positions (seeing and instrumental width effects are included). The main advantage of this tool is the short time needed to compute a model (a few tens minutes).

[ascl:1102.001] N-MODY: A Code for Collisionless N-body Simulations in Modified Newtonian Dynamics

N-MODY is a parallel particle-mesh code for collisionless N-body simulations in modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND). N-MODY is based on a numerical potential solver in spherical coordinates that solves the non-linear MOND field equation, and is ideally suited to simulate isolated stellar systems. N-MODY can be used also to compute the MOND potential of arbitrary static density distributions. A few applications of N-MODY indicate that some astrophysically relevant dynamical processes are profoundly different in MOND and in Newtonian gravity with dark matter.

[ascl:1102.002] PBL: Particle-Based Lensing for Gravitational Lensing Mass Reconstructions of Galaxy Clusters

We present Particle-Based Lensing (PBL), a new technique for gravitational lensing mass reconstructions of galaxy clusters. Traditionally, most methods have employed either a finite inversion or gridding to turn observational lensed galaxy ellipticities into an estimate of the surface mass density of a galaxy cluster. We approach the problem from a different perspective, motivated by the success of multi-scale analysis in smoothed particle hydrodynamics. In PBL, we treat each of the lensed galaxies as a particle and then reconstruct the potential by smoothing over a local kernel with variable smoothing scale. In this way, we can tune a reconstruction to produce constant signal-noise throughout, and maximally exploit regions of high information density.

PBL is designed to include all lensing observables, including multiple image positions and fluxes from strong lensing, as well as weak lensing signals including shear and flexion. In this paper, however, we describe a shear-only reconstruction, and apply the method to several test cases, including simulated lensing clusters, as well as the well-studied ``Bullet Cluster'' (1E0657-56). In the former cases, we show that PBL is better able to identify cusps and substructures than are grid-based reconstructions, and in the latter case, we show that PBL is able to identify substructure in the Bullet Cluster without even exploiting strong lensing measurements.

[ascl:1102.003] GRAVLENS: Computational Methods for Gravitational Lensing

Modern applications of strong gravitational lensing require the ability to use precise and varied observational data to constrain complex lens models. Two sets of computational methods for lensing calculations are discussed. The first is a new algorithm for solving the lens equation for general mass distributions. This algorithm makes it possible to apply arbitrarily complicated models to observed lenses. The second is an evaluation of techniques for using observational data including positions, fluxes, and time delays of point-like images, as well as maps of extended images, to constrain models of strong lenses. The techniques presented here are implemented in a flexible and user-friendly software package called gravlens, which is made available to the community.

[ascl:1102.004] LENSTOOL: A Gravitational Lensing Software for Modeling Mass Distribution of Galaxies and Clusters (strong and weak regime)

We describe a procedure for modelling strong lensing galaxy clusters with parametric methods, and to rank models quantitatively using the Bayesian evidence. We use a publicly available Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) sampler ('Bayesys'), allowing us to avoid local minima in the likelihood functions. To illustrate the power of the MCMC technique, we simulate three clusters of galaxies, each composed of a cluster-scale halo and a set of perturbing galaxy-scale subhalos. We ray-trace three light beams through each model to produce a catalogue of multiple images, and then use the MCMC sampler to recover the model parameters in the three different lensing configurations. We find that, for typical Hubble Space Telescope (HST)-quality imaging data, the total mass in the Einstein radius is recovered with ~1-5% error according to the considered lensing configuration. However, we find that the mass of the galaxies is strongly degenerated with the cluster mass when no multiple images appear in the cluster centre. The mass of the galaxies is generally recovered with a 20% error, largely due to the poorly constrained cut-off radius. Finally, we describe how to rank models quantitatively using the Bayesian evidence. We confirm the ability of strong lensing to constrain the mass profile in the central region of galaxy clusters in this way. Ultimately, such a method applied to strong lensing clusters with a very large number of multiple images may provide unique geometrical constraints on cosmology.

[ascl:1102.005] MRLENS: Multi-Resolution methods for gravitational LENSing

The MRLENS package offers a new method for the reconstruction of weak lensing mass maps. It uses the multiscale entropy concept, which is based on wavelets, and the False Discovery Rate which allows us to derive robust detection levels in wavelet space. We show that this new restoration approach outperforms several standard techniques currently used for weak shear mass reconstruction. This method can also be used to separate E and B modes in the shear field, and thus test for the presence of residual systematic effects. We concentrate on large blind cosmic shear surveys, and illustrate our results using simulated shear maps derived from N-Body Lambda-CDM simulations with added noise corresponding to both ground-based and space-based observations.

[ascl:1102.006] NBODY Codes: Numerical Simulations of Many-body (N-body) Gravitational Interactions

I review the development of direct N-body codes at Cambridge over nearly 40 years, highlighting the main stepping stones. The first code (NBODY1) was based on the simple concepts of a force polynomial combined with individual time steps, where numerical problems due to close encounters were avoided by a softened potential. Fortuitously, the elegant Kustaanheimo-Stiefel two-body regularization soon permitted small star clusters to be studied (NBODY3). Subsequent extensions to unperturbed three-body and four-body regularization proved beneficial in dealing with multiple interactions. Investigations of larger systems became possible with the Ahmad-Cohen neighbor scheme which was used more than 20 years ago for expanding universe models of 4000 galaxies (NBODY2). Combining the neighbor scheme with the regularization procedures enabled more realistic star clusters to be considered (NBODY5). After a period of simulations with no apparent technical progress, chain regularization replaced the treatment of compact subsystems (NBODY3, NBODY5). More recently, the Hermite integration method provided a major advance and has been implemented on the special-purpose HARP computers (NBODY4) together with an alternative version for workstations and supercomputers (NBODY6). These codes also include a variety of algorithms for stellar evolution based on fast lookup functions. The treatment of primordial binaries contains efficient procedures for chaotic two-body motion as well as tidal circularization, and special attention is paid to hierarchical systems and their stability. This family of N-body codes constitutes a powerful tool for dynamical simulations which is freely available to the astronomical community, and the massive effort owes much to collaborators.

[ascl:1102.007] PixeLens: A Portable Modeler of Lensed Quasars

We introduce and implement two novel ideas for modeling lensed quasars. The first is to require different lenses to agree about H0. This means that some models for one lens can be ruled out by data on a different lens. We explain using two worked examples. One example models 1115+080 and 1608+656 (time-delay quadruple systems) and 1933+503 (a prospective time-delay system) all together, yielding time-delay predictions for the third lens and a 90% confidence estimate of H0-1=14.6+9.4-1.7 Gyr (H0=67+9-26 km s-1 Mpc-1) assuming ΩM=0.3 and ΩΛ=0.7. The other example models the time-delay doubles 1520+530, 1600+434, 1830-211, and 2149-275, which gives H0-1=14.5+3.3-1.5 Gyr (H0=67+8-13 km s-1 Mpc-1). Our second idea is to write the modeling software as a highly interactive Java applet, which can be used both for coarse-grained results inside a browser and for fine-grained results on a workstation. Several obstacles come up in trying to implement a numerically intensive method thus, but we overcome them.

[ascl:1102.008] PMFAST: Towards Optimal Parallel PM N-body Codes

The parallel PM N-body code PMFAST is cost-effective and memory-efficient. PMFAST is based on a two-level mesh gravity solver where the gravitational forces are separated into long and short range components. The decomposition scheme minimizes communication costs and allows tolerance for slow networks. The code approaches optimality in several dimensions. The force computations are local and exploit highly optimized vendor FFT libraries. It features minimal memory overhead, with the particle positions and velocities being the main cost. The code features support for distributed and shared memory parallelization through the use of MPI and OpenMP, respectively.

The current release version uses two grid levels on a slab decomposition, with periodic boundary conditions for cosmological applications. Open boundary conditions could be added with little computational overhead. Timing information and results from a recent cosmological production run of the code using a 3712^3 mesh with 6.4 x 10^9 particles are available.

[ascl:1102.009] AHF: Amiga's Halo Finder

Cosmological simulations are the key tool for investigating the different processes involved in the formation of the universe from small initial density perturbations to galaxies and clusters of galaxies observed today. The identification and analysis of bound objects, halos, is one of the most important steps in drawing useful physical information from simulations. In the advent of larger and larger simulations, a reliable and parallel halo finder, able to cope with the ever-increasing data files, is a must. In this work we present the freely available MPI parallel halo finder AHF. We provide a description of the algorithm and the strategy followed to handle large simulation data. We also describe the parameters a user may choose in order to influence the process of halo finding, as well as pointing out which parameters are crucial to ensure untainted results from the parallel approach. Furthermore, we demonstrate the ability of AHF to scale to high-resolution simulations.

[ascl:1102.010] SEREN: A SPH code for star and planet formation simulations

SEREN is an astrophysical Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code designed to investigate star and planet formation problems using self-gravitating hydrodynamics simulations of molecular clouds, star-forming cores, and protostellar disks.

SEREN is written in Fortran 95/2003 with a modular philosophy for adding features into the code. Each feature can be easily activated or deactivated by way of setting options in the Makefile before compiling the code. This has the added benefit of allowing unwanted features to be removed at the compilation stage resulting in a smaller and faster executable program. SEREN is written with OpenMP directives to allow parallelization on shared-memory architecture.

[ascl:1102.011] Identikit 2: An Algorithm for Reconstructing Galactic Collisions

Using a combination of self-consistent and test-particle techniques, Identikit 1 provided a way to vary the initial geometry of a galactic collision and instantly visualize the outcome. Identikit 2 uses the same techniques to define a mapping from the current morphology and kinematics of a tidal encounter back to the initial conditions. By requiring that various regions along a tidal feature all originate from a single disc with a unique orientation, this mapping can be used to derive the initial collision geometry. In addition, Identikit 2 offers a robust way to measure how well a particular model reproduces the morphology and kinematics of a pair of interacting galaxies. A set of eight self-consistent simulations is used to demonstrate the algorithm's ability to search a ten-dimensional parameter space and find near-optimal matches; all eight systems are successfully reconstructed.

[ascl:1102.012] CPROPS: Bias-free Measurement of Giant Molecular Cloud Properties

CPROPS, written in IDL, processes FITS data cubes containing molecular line emission and returns the properties of molecular clouds contained within it. Without corrections for the effects of beam convolution and sensitivity to GMC properties, the resulting properties may be severely biased. This is particularly true for extragalactic observations, where resolution and sensitivity effects often bias measured values by 40% or more. We correct for finite spatial and spectral resolutions with a simple deconvolution and we correct for sensitivity biases by extrapolating properties of a GMC to those we would expect to measure with perfect sensitivity. The resulting method recovers the properties of a GMC to within 10% over a large range of resolutions and sensitivities, provided the clouds are marginally resolved with a peak signal-to-noise ratio greater than 10. We note that interferometers systematically underestimate cloud properties, particularly the flux from a cloud. The degree of bias depends on the sensitivity of the observations and the (u,v) coverage of the observations. In the Appendix to the paper we present a conservative, new decomposition algorithm for identifying GMCs in molecular-line observations. This algorithm treats the data in physical rather than observational units, does not produce spurious clouds in the presence of noise, and is sensitive to a range of morphologies. As a result, the output of this decomposition should be directly comparable among disparate data sets.

The CPROPS package contains within it a distribution of the CLUMPFIND code written by Jonathan Williams and described in Williams, de Geus, and Blitz(1994). The package is available as a stand alone package. If you make use of the CLUMPFIND functionality in the CPROPS package for a publication, please cite Jonathan's original article.

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