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Gnuastro 0.16.184 released

From: Mohammad Akhlaghi
Subject: Gnuastro 0.16.184 released
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2022 03:45:24 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.7.0

Dear all,

After the long wait, I am happy to say that Gnuastro 0.17 is now
finally ready for release. Since the last alpha-release there have
been _many_ updates (see [1]). So before the official Gnuastro 0.17
release (during the weekend), I am sharing this second test release.

To best enjoy Gnuastro, please take a few minutes to read through [1],
I am sure you'll find some of the items useful in your work (117
commits have been made since the last alpha-release)! It would also be
great if you could try building and using this version to report any
compilation warnings, crashes, or unexpected behavior (especially in
the newly added features).

Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this
release. To decompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity
of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature (*.sig) see [3]:

Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums (other ways to check if the
tarball you download is what we distributed). Just note that the
SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the hexadecimal encoding
that most checksum tools default to.

7d11317a5fb9adc0934c3cbfceb5582ac5992704  gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar.lz
h1DugfoWzbPRlsTzmVolx+yQWBrRLSp2aZ/3ik42UAU  gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar.lz

For this release (since the last alpha-release), I am very grateful to
Raul Infante-Sainz, Sepideh Eskandarlou and Pedram Ashofte Ardakani
for direct commits in the code. In particular, Raul and Sepideh were
the primary authors of the newly added extended PSF installed scripts.

This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note
that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these
are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only
mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later.
  Texinfo 6.8
  Autoconf 2.71
  Automake 1.16.4
  Help2man 1.49.1
  ImageMagick 7.1.0-27
  Gnulib v0.1-5187-g2ca890b564
  Autoconf archives v2022.02.11-1-g203f15b

The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system
are described here:

Best wishes,

Tenure track researcher,
Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA),
Teruel, 44001, Spain

[1] Noteworthy changes since Gnuastro 0.16.67

** New features

 New programs:
   - astscript-fits-view: Given any number of FITS files, this script will
     either open SAO DS9 (for 2D images or 3D cubes) or TOPCAT (for tables)
     to visualize their contents in a graphic user interface (GUI). Both
     SAO DS9 and TOPCAT are free software packages that are heavily used in
     astrophysics. When opening in DS9, files will be opened as "match"ed
     and "lock"ed frames, enabling easy visual comparison. For GUIs that
     conform to the standards, a '.desktop' file is also
     provided that you can easily activate (as described in the
     manual). Once activated, simply clicking on FITS file(s) in your
     graphic environment will open DS9 or TOPCAT depending on their
   - A set of installed scripts to enable easy estimation and subtraction
     of the extended PSF (in a highly modular and easily scalable
     manner). They are primarily based on the method described in
     Infante-Sainz et al. 2020
     ( and primarily
     maintained by Raul Infante-Sainz himself and the help of Sepideh
     Eskandarlou. A full tutorial on real data from the J-PLUS survey
     ( has also been added to the tutorials chapter to
     describe in full detail how to run these scripts in a generic way (on
     any survey). These installed scripts all have a 'astscript-psf-*'
     prefix in their names:
        - astscript-psf-select-stars: Find all the stars within an image
          that are suitable for constructing an extended PSF. If the image
          has WCS, this script can automatically query Gaia to find the
          good stars.
        - astscript-psf-stamp: build a crop (stamp) of a certain width
          around a star at a certain coordinate in a larger image. This
          script will do sub-pixel re-positioning to make sure the star is
          centered and can optionally mask all other background sources).
        - astscript-psf-scale-factor: Given a PSF model, and the central
          coordinates of a star in an image, find the scale factor that has
          to be multiplied by the PSF to scale it to that star.
        - astscript-psf-unite: Unite the various components of a PSF into
          one. Because of saturation and non-linearity, to get a good
          estimate of the extended PSF, its necessary to construct various
          parts from different magnitude ranges.
        - astscript-psf-subtract: Given the model of a PSF and the central
          coordinates of a star in the image, do sub-pixel re-positioning
          of the PSF, scale it to the star and subtract it from the image.

   - New tutorial on how to estimate and subtract the extended PSF.
   - New section called "Integer benefits and pitfalls" added under the
     Arithmetic program's documentation. It describes the running time,
     storage and RAM consumption benefits if you use integers (where
     possible), and the issues/solutions you may confront when doing so.

   - New operators:
     - add-dimension-fast: Add a new dataset along the "fastest" dimension
       of the first dataset (in a FITS image, the "fast" dimension is the
       horizontal one). For example if you have N one-dimensional datasets
       with M elements, you can use this operator to construct a
       2-dimensional FITS image that has N pixels along the horizontal and
       M pixels along the vertical.
     - repeat: Put a copy of the given dataset onto the top of the stack of
       operators for the requested number of times.

   - Options that accept strings ('--colmetadata', '--equal' and
     '--notequal') can now accept a comma within the string: to avoid
     confusing the comma with a separator of values, you should put a '\'
     before it. For example '--equal=AB,cd\,ef' will select all rows where
     the 'AB' column has a value of 'cd,ef'. This task was suggested by
     Zohreh Ghaffari.
   - New operator for column arithmetic:
     - date-to-millisec: convert the formatted date string into the number
       of milli-seconds (as a 64-bit integer) since Unix-time (00:00:00 of

   - 'add-dimension-slow' is the new name for the old 'add-dimension'.

** Changed features

   - 'date-to-sec' operator now only returns the number of seconds and is
     always in a 64-bit signed integer format. Until now, if the input had
     sub-second precision it would return a 64-bit floating point type;
     however, that resulted in bug #61976 (where the loss of precision due
     to the floating-point's logarithmic scale for too many significant
     digits caused incorrect conversions).

** Bugs fixed
  bug #61940: Numbers with many decimals (like '330624.3918430004', common
              in Julian dates for example) incorrectly read as float32
              (thus loosing precision); reported by Zohreh Ghaffari, fixed
              with help of Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani.
  bug #61967: DS9 polygon region files not read when they have width and
              color; reported by Zohreh Ghaffari, fixed by Pedram Ashofteh
  bug #61976: Table arithmetic date-to-sec produces same result for
              different times (separated by about 1 second). This bug was
              reported by Zohreh Ghaffari and Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani.
  bug #62008: Arithmetic not deleting existing output when the 'makenew' is
              used (no FITS file exists in the reverse polish notation).
  bug #62052: WCS decomposition of CD into PCCDELT not setting internal
              values; reported by Ignacio Ruiz Cejudo and Raul
bug #62054: Crash in Table's '--catrowfile' when string column is present;
              reported by Manuel Sánchez-Benavente.
  bug #62069: Wrong Arithmetic result in binary operators when both input
              operands are integers of same width, but different sign (for
              example 'int32' and 'uint32'); reported by Zohreh Ghaffari
              and Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani.
  bug #62070: Segmentation fault in Table's '--tail' option, when string
              columns are requested and the requested number of rows given
              to '--tail' is more than half of the number of rows; reported
              by Manuel Sánchez-Benavente.
  bug #62096: 'astarithmetic 250 1 ' not producing correct result;
              reported by Raul Infante-Sainz.
  bug #62112: NoiseChisel crash when '--checktiles' and
              '--continueaftercheck' called together; reported by Giulia
  bug #62127: GNU Scientific Library's 1D Steffen interpolation method
              (that guarantees monotonicity) not used in Gnuastro's
              library, even if it is present and found at configure time;
              found and fixed by Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani.

[2] Lzip has better compression ratio and archival features compared
to the `.gz' or `.xz' formats. Therefore Gnuastro's alpha/test
releases are only in this format, but for historical reasons we also
include `.gz' tarballs in the official releases. If you don't have
Lzip (you can check with `lzip --version' command), download and
install it from its webpage:

If Lzip is present and you use GNU Tar, then the single command below
should uncompress and un-pack the tarball:

  $ tar xf gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar.lz

If the command above doesn't work, you have to un-compress and un-pack
it with two separate commands (or use a pipe to feed the output of the
first into the second: `lzip -cd gnuastro-0.6.tar.lz | tar -xf -'):

  $ lzip -d gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar.lz
  $ tar xf gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar

[3] 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:

  gpg --verify gnuastro-0.16.184-0438.tar.lz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
or that public key has expired, try the following commands to update
or refresh it, and then rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

  gpg --recv-keys 71E899012D174B66

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