Support for Cx CMOS camera
With the introduction of C1 series of planetary and autoguider
cameras and C2 cooled cameras, support for these new models were
gradually added into subsequent SIPS releases. C1 cameras were
fully supported in v3.11 and this version 3.14 fully supports soon
to be released C2 cooled CMOS cameras.
Introduction of CMOS cameras required adding of the possibility
to set camera gain. So, the SIPS main camera control window had to
be slightly redesigned to free-up some space for gain control. The
NIR preflash is set only sparsely. So, the preflash controls were
moved into new dialog box, opened by single button, which label
also shows whether the preflash is enabled or disabled. If the
preflash settings has to be changed, click on the button opens
If the connected camera does not support NIR Preflash, the
button remains disabled. On the other hand, cameras allowing to
set gain cause enabling of the newly introduced Gain count
New catalog support
SIPS supported USNO-A2.0 and UCAC4 catalogs for astrometric
plate solving. Two more catalogs were added: UCAC5 and especially
While USNO-A2.0 is always distributed with big-endian
byte sequence in integer numbers, USNO-B1.0 is available in both
big-endian and little-endian variants. As Intel and AMD x86
computers are little-endian machines and at the same time PCs
equipped with x86 are used by absolute majority researchers and
scientists, little-endian variant of USNO-B1.0 is more common and
also SIPS expects little-endian variant.
The UCAC5 catalog contains even less stars than UCAC4 and
only offers better coordinates precision, so, its usage
for photometry applications is not much beneficial. On the other
side, USNO-B1.0 contains uncomparatively more stars than both
USNO-A2.0 or UCAC4/5.
Example of a field matched with UCAC4 catalog (left)
and with USNO-B1.0 catalog (right)
Using of USNO-B1.0 leaves almost no star in the field of view
without cross-identification, which is especially useful when
stars should be published etc. But USNO-B1.0 contains only very
little information about every star. For example only red
and blue magnitudes are given and these magnitudes do not
fit any standard photometric system. On the other side UCAC4
catalog contains many standard magnitudes.
So, it is much better to use UCAC4 providing the star of
interest is contained in it. If the star is missing from UCAC4, it
is useful to use USNO-B1.0 at last to have a valid
cross-identification and rough estimates of standard magnitudes
calculated from red and blue values. Which
catalog is then better to use? SIPS offers solution of this
problem by offering a possibility to define secondary catalog in
addition to the primary one.
If the particular image (plate) cannot be matched with primary
catalog, SIPS tries the secondary one. But this is only a rare
possibility, matching works either in both catalogs or in neither
of them. The main purpose of the secondary catalog ot offer
cross-identification of stars missing from the primary catalog.
When the image is matched with primary catalog, SIPS matches all
unidentified stars with a secondary catalog.
Photometry tool updates
Now it is possible to check and uncheck images (to
include/exclude them to/from a light curve) for images selected
(highlighted) in the image list box of the Photometry
Neural network variability index was not calculated if
the first and/or the last image from the series were no included
into light curve (unchecked).
The field description Save button no longer
opens Save As dialog box every time. The Photometry
tool keeps the file name of the currently opened field
description and just saves the current state into chosen file.
New Save As button was added to allow saving into
Check stars (CHK) were wrongly labeled as VAR stars in
the Photometry report protocol meta-data (this bug was fixed in
v3.9.1 on Nov.14, 2018).
Declination stated in Photometry report protocol
meta-data was wrongly converted to hours, not degrees. So,
declination value was 15-time greater (this bug was fixed in
v3.9.1 on Nov.14, 2018).
General updates and bug fixes
Small updates include:
When images within image set are modified and the user
clicks the Save All button, SIPS opens a confirmation
dialog box prior to saving of all images not to accidentally
overwrite large amount of files (e.g. raw images with calibrated
Histogram and Stretch tool does not show wrong parts of
histogram chart if the bits range is lowered below the lowest
values present within the selected image.
The Aggressivity guiding parameter in both Guider camera
tool and main camera tool was no persistent. Now it is properly
stored into state file and restored upon next SIPS run.
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