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Astrometry.net is a reliable and robust system that takes as input an astronomical image and returns as output the pointing, scale, and orientation of that image (the astrometric calibration or World Coordinate System information). The system requires no first guess, and works with the information in the image pixels alone; that is, the problem is a generalization of the "lost in space" problem in which nothing—not even the image scale—is known. After robust source detection is performed in the input image, asterisms (sets of four or five stars) are geometrically hashed and compared to pre-indexed hashes to generate hypotheses about the astrometric calibration. A hypothesis is only accepted as true if it passes a Bayesian decision theory test against a null hypothesis. With indices built from the USNO-B catalog and designed for uniformity of coverage and redundancy, the success rate is >99.9% for contemporary near-ultraviolet and visual imaging survey data, with no false positives. The failure rate is consistent with the incompleteness of the USNO-B catalog; augmentation with indices built from the Two Micron All Sky Survey catalog brings the completeness to 100% with no false positives. We are using this system to generate consistent and standards-compliant meta-data for digital and digitized imaging from plate repositories, automated observatories, individual scientific investigators, and hobbyists.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) produces large amounts of data daily. transfer, written in Python, provides the effective automation needed for daily data transfer operations and management and operates essentially free of human intervention. This package has been tested and used successfully for several years.
CCDtoRGB produces red‐green‐blue (RGB) composites from three‐band astronomical images, ensuring an object with a specified astronomical color has a unique color in the RGB image rather than burnt‐out white stars. Use of an arcsinh stretch shows faint objects while simultaneously preserving the structure of brighter objects in the field, such as the spiral arms of large galaxies.
kcorrect fits very restricted spectral energy distribution models to galaxy photometry or spectra in the restframe UV, optical and near-infrared. The main purpose of the fits are for calculating K-corrections. The templates used for the fits may also be interpreted physically, since they are based on the Bruzual-Charlot stellar evolution synthesis codes. Thus, for each fit galaxy kcorrect can provide an estimate of the stellar mass-to-light ratio.