Dark and Light skin
While we never followed the design over functionality
trend, so common in modern IT industry, aesthetically pleasant
products and software user interface are always welcomed. this is
why new SIPS adds another, dark skin to its light user interface
introduces in version 3. The dark skin is preferred by some user
for everyday work (almost every modern software, including web
browsers and the OS shell itself often allow switching to dark
mode), but it can be especially appreciated by astronomers
operating the software with eyes adopted to dark.
The SIPS skin mode can be switched anytime from menu View
-> Switch skin or by clicking the respective tool
Multipart FITS handling
Especially large observatory telescopes, equipped with cameras
containing multiple individual CCD sensors, store images in the
multipart FITS (FITS keyword EXTENDED indicates the file contains
more than image matrix).
Historically SIPS opened such files into image sets, each
containing individual frames. These frames remembered
they are part of multipart FITS and kept reference to the master
image set. This brought several problems, like what to do with
multipart FITS frames, opened into individual windows, when the
master set is closed etc.
SIPS version 3.6 changed multipart FITS handling. EXTENDED FITS
files are still opened into image set as in older versions, but
the permanent links between individual frames and master image set
are no longer created. Instead every frame, contained in multipart
FITS, is created as independent FITS image. Every frame file name
is copied from the original multipart FITS file and frame index
within multipart FITS in parentheses is added to the name. If for
instance multipart FITS file named 'test.fits',
containing three individual frames, is loaded, new set with three
frames named 'test(0).fits', 'test(1).fits'
and 'test(2).fits' is created.
Note individual frames in set are marked as modified
(file names are followed with '*'), because in fact
files corresponding to individual frames do no exists on disk,
only the original multipart file. If they are saved, then it is
possible to handle them as normal (non-extended) FITS
Photometry module extensions
Maybe the presence of the Photometry module is the most
compelling reason to call SIPS Scientific Image
Processing System. As SIPS is used in more and more research
projects, we include new features needed by respective users.
New SIPS Photometry features in version 3.6 are not
fundamental, but each one allows SIPS to be used in another
As Photometry module also calculates astrometry and thus
uses the Field deformation correction feature, the
actually active Field curvature description file is
displayed in the Photometry window title (as well as in the
Astrometry tool window title). Not to duplicate numerous tool
buttons and dialog boxes, the ability to create, load and save
Field curvature description remains only in the Astrometry
module and Photometry only uses already defined curvature
description. The description file name displayed in the
Photometry window title then remains user if and which file is
The light curve pane can be newly switched between
Magnitude and Flux. The Flux is still relative
to the chosen comparison star(s).
If the Flux is
chosen over the Magnitude, also the photometry report is created
in fluxes, not magnitudes.
Photometry report can now include star metadata in the
next comment line. The metadata contains used catalog, star
coordinates (if astrometry is calculated) and catalog
information about matched star. Example of metadata
#Catalog: UCAC4 RA: 20:10:56.37 Dec: 01:07:18.76 CatalogId: 535-122832 CatalogRA: 20:10:56.38 CatalogDec: 01:07:18.77 CatalogMag: 14.54 CatalogB-V: 0.87
A new column with J-K color index was added to
the star sheet (used catalog data should provide J and K
magnitudes to show J-K value).
B-V values read from UCAC4 catalog show empty string
instead of value 0.00 if the catalog does not contain B and V
magnitudes for the selected star.
SIPS is a freeware and can be downloaded from the Download section of this web site.