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SPLAT is a graphical tool for displaying, comparing, modifying and analyzing astronomical spectra stored in NDF, FITS and TEXT files as well as in NDX format. It can read in many spectra at the same time and then display these as line plots. Display windows can show one or several spectra at the same time and can be interactively zoomed and scrolled, centered on specific wavelengths, provide continuous coordinate readout, produce printable hardcopy and be configured in many ways. Analysis facilities include the fitting of a polynomial to selected parts of a spectrum, the fitting of Gaussian, Lorentzian and Voigt profiles to emission and absorption lines and the filtering of spectra using average, median and line-shape window functions as well as wavelet denoising. SPLAT also supports a full range of coordinate systems for spectra, which allows coordinates to be displayed and aligned in many different coordinate systems (wavelength, frequency, energy, velocity) and transformed between these and different standards of rest (topocentric, heliocentric, dynamic and kinematic local standards of rest, etc). SPLAT is distributed as part of the Starlink (ascl:1110.012) software collection.
SPLAT-VO is an extension of the SPLAT (Spectral Analysis Tool, ascl:1402.007) graphical tool for displaying, comparing, modifying and analyzing astronomical spectra; it includes facilities that allow it to work as part of the Virtual Observatory (VO). SPLAT-VO comes in two different forms, one for querying and downloading spectra from SSAP servers and one for interoperating with VO tools, such as TOPCAT (ascl:1101.010).
CCDPACK contains programs to debias, remove dark current, flatfield, register, resample and normalize data from single- or multiple-CCD instruments. The basic reduction stages can be set up using an X based GUI that controls an automated reduction system so one can to start working without any detailed knowledge of the package (or indeed of CCD reduction). Registration is performed using graphical, script based or automated techniques that keep the amount of work to a minimum. CCDPACK uses the Starlink environment (ascl:1110.012).
GAIA is an image and data-cube display and analysis tool for astronomy. It provides the usual facilities of image display tools, plus more astronomically useful ones such as aperture and optimal photometry, contouring, source detection, surface photometry, arbitrary region analysis, celestial coordinate readout, calibration and modification, grid overlays, blink comparison, defect patching and the ability to query on-line catalogues and image servers. It can also display slices from data-cubes, extract and visualize spectra as well as perform full 3D rendering. GAIA uses the Starlink software environment (ascl:1110.012) and is derived from the ESO SkyCat tool (ascl:1109.019).
PISA (Position, Intensity and Shape Analysis) routines deal with the location and parameterization of objects on an image frame. The core of this package is the routine PISAFIND which performs image analysis on a 2-dimensional data frame. The program searches the data array for objects that have a minimum number of connected pixels above a given threshold and extracts the image parameters (position, intensity, shape) for each object. The image parameters can be determined using thresholding techniques or an analytical stellar profile can be used to fit the objects. In crowded regions deblending of overlapping sources can be performed. PISA is distributed as part of the Starlink software collection (ascl:1110.012).
PHOTOM performs photometry of digitized images. It has two basic modes of operation: using an interactive display to specify the positions for the measurements, or obtaining those positions from a file. In both modes of operation PHOTOM performs photometry using either the traditional aperture method or via optimal extraction. When using the traditional aperture extraction method the target aperture can be circular or elliptical and its size and shape can be varied interactively on the display, or by entering values from the keyboard. Both methods allow the background sky level to be either sampled interactively by the manual positioning of an aperture, or automatically from an annulus surrounding the target object. PHOTOM is the photometry backend for the GAIA tool (ascl:1403.024) and is part of the Starlink software collection (ascl:1110.012).
ESP (Extended Surface Photometry) determines the photometric properties of galaxies and other extended objects. It has applications that detect flatfielding faults, remove cosmic rays, median filter images, determine image statistics and local background values, perform galaxy profiling, fit 2-D Gaussian profiles to galaxies, generate pie slice cross-sections of galaxies, and display profiling results. It is distributed as part of the Starlink software collection (ascl:1110.012).
The Extensible N-Dimensional Data Format (NDF) stores bulk data in the form of N-dimensional arrays of numbers. It is typically used for storing spectra, images and similar datasets with higher dimensionality. The NDF format is based on the Hierarchical Data System (HDS) and is extensible; not only does it provide a comprehensive set of standard ancillary items to describe the data, it can also be extended indefinitely to handle additional user-defined information of any type. The NDF library is used to read and write files in the NDF format. It is distributed with the Starlink software (ascl:1110.012).
The Hierarchical Data System (HDS) is a file-based hierarchical data system designed for the storage of a wide variety of information. It is particularly suited to the storage of large multi-dimensional arrays (with their ancillary data) where efficient access is needed. It is a key component of the Starlink software collection (ascl:1110.012) and is used by the Starlink N-Dimensional Data Format (NDF) library (ascl:1411.023).
HDS organizes data into hierarchies, broadly similar to the directory structure of a hierarchical filing system, but contained within a single HDS container file. The structures stored in these files are self-describing and flexible; HDS supports modification and extension of structures previously created, as well as functions such as deletion, copying, and renaming. All information stored in HDS files is portable between the machines on which HDS is implemented. Thus, there are no format conversion problems when moving between machines. HDS can write files in a private binary format (version 4), or be layered on top of HDF5 (version 5).