newsGNU Astronomy Utilities - News: Gnuastro 0.2 released

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Gnuastro 0.2 released

Item posted by Mohammad Akhlaghi <makhlaghi> on Mon 03 Oct 2016 01:27:11 PM UTC.

I am pleased to announce the second release of GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro).

Gnuastro is a collection of programs and library functions for astronomical data manipulation and analysis. The programs are run directory on the command-line, enabling easy and efficient operationS (combined with other installed programs) in shell scripts or Makefiles. The libraries are also usable in C and C++ programs.

The main changes in this version can be seen in the NEWS file which is also distributed with this announcement in footnote 1 (below). The most notable new features are:

  • Gnuastro library: to use the building blocks of Gnuastro's programs in other C and C++ programs. Python wrappers will also be coming with the next releases. In this release (first library release), the main emphasis was on having a robust library build, management, and documentation infra-structure, rather than the actual functions. A lot of work still remains on improving the functions. Most of the interesting functions are also still locked up in the programs. But with this infra-structure in place, the next releases will greatly improve the quantity and quality of the offered library functions.

  • A new program to read and write FITS binary and ASCII tables called `Table' with the executable name `asttable'. It can also show the column information of a FITS table, or select columns with regular expressions on their title.

Here are the compressed sources:   (4.0MB)   (2.7MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures, see footnote 2 (below):

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
(Note that mirrors will need some time to synchronize with the main server)

Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums of the tarballs.

175ee211b20d6a667a7186f564b5cc79  gnuastro-0.2.tar.gz
2f68cead777e4a6d38d1bccb7c200362  gnuastro-0.2.tar.lz
703918a2f180e3c448c66fc6e8180f40a15bb460  gnuastro-0.2.tar.gz
fbfd3eccf0fc15f49cb25b30ffa5dc95a74d30fc  gnuastro-0.2.tar.lz

Mosè Giordano and Vladimir Markelov contributed to the code in this release. I am also very grateful to Alan Lefor, Yahya Sefidbakht, and Mohammad-reza Khellat for their many patient tests during development along with useful comments and suggestions.

Gnuastro 0.2 tarball was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Texinfo 6.1
  Autoconf 2.69
  Automake 1.15
  Libtool 2.4.6
  Help2man 1.47.3
  Gnulib v0.1-898-ge63f5eb
  Autoconf Archives v2016.09.16-8-g8a6b028
Note that these are not installation dependencies, for those, please see

Mohammad Akhlaghi

Postdoctoral research fellow
CRAL (Lyon Observatory), France.

Footnote 1

Noteworthy changes in release 0.2 (library 0.0.0) (2016-10-03) [stable]

Bug fixes

  • Linker errors on some operating systems have been fixed (bug #48076).

New programs or headers

  • Table: a new utility to read and write FITS binary and ASCII tables. It can also print the column information or select columns using regular expressions (task #13579).

  • Shared libraries and headers are now installed. The libraries can be used in C and C++ programs. This release includes the following headers: `gnuastro.h', `array.h', `box.h', `fits.h', `linkedlist.h', `mesh.h', `polygon.h', `qsort.h', `spatialconvolve.h', `statistics.h', `threads.h', `wcs.h', `txtarray.h' (task #13765).

  • Gnuastro now comes with a script in its top source directory (`tmpfs-config-make') to configure and build it in the tmpfs (on the RAM), for those systems that have it. See the new "Configure and build in RAM" section in the book for more (task #14100).

New features

  • Flat profiles in MakeProfiles can be given a profile specific value. The new `--mforflatpix' option MakeProfile will use the value in the magnitude column as a fixed value for each pixel. This can be very useful in defining a mask, or creating segmentation maps or labeled images (task #14115).

  • MakeProfiles can now use input image as canvas. Instead of specifying the WSC and image size paramteres manually. With the new `--inputascanvas' option, MakeProfiles will get this information (along with blank pixels) from an already existing image (task #14116).

  • Type of output in MakeProfiles and Arithmetic can be specified with the `--type' option.

  • Magnitude error column in MakeCatalog with the `--magnitudeerr' option.

  • Arithmetic now has new conditional (task #13870) and logical operators (task #14153) along with an operator for actions only when conditions are true: `where'. The new `isblank' operator will also enable you to select blank, or masked, pixels (task #14146).

  • The `--noerodequant' in NoiseChisel enables it to detect small and sharper profiles by disabling erosion on pixels above a certain quantile (task #14139).

  • MakeCatalog can also calculate the upper limit magnitude for each given object in the image by randomly positioning the object's footprint over undetected regions of the image (task #14167).

  • The source tarball is now also distributed with Lzip for a much better compression ratio and more robust archival file format.

Changes in behavior

  • The two MakeProfiles options `--setconsttonan', `--setconsttomin' have been removed (see `--mforflatpix' above for their alternative).

  • MakeCatalog makes clump catalog only when asked (when the `WCLUMPS' header exists in the objects HDU). This can be very useful in cases like aperture photometry, when the object labels are not generated by NoiseChisel and so a clump image doesn't exist (task #14122).

  • Default cosmological parameters in CosmiCalculator set to Plank 2015 results: A&A (2016), 594, A13 (arXiv 1502.01589).

  • The `--envseed' option (to read random number generator type and seed from the environment) to MakeProfiles and MakeNoise can also be given in the configuration files.

Footnote 2

Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this (similar for `tar.lz' files):

gpg --verify gnuastro-0.2.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 16A8A4B2AEC42AFF

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.


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