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Gnuastro 0.20.60 released
Gnuastro 0.20.60 released
Sun, 20 Aug 2023 16:59:12 +0200
There have already been 60 commits by 6 people (see  below) in the 16
weeks since Gnuastro version 0.20. Many exciting/useful new features
have been added, some things have been changed for consistency and many
bugs have been fixed. For the full list, see  below (from the 'NEWS'
file within the tarball).
In preparation for the next stable release, I am therefore very happy to
make this alpha-release. To ensure a smooth stable release, please send
any un-expected behavior, warning or error you confront to
Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this
release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see . To check the validity of
the tarballs using the GPG detached signature (*.sig) see . See 
for the list of software used to bootstrap this tarball.
https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz (4.5 MB)
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 (see  on how to generate it).
If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work,
please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment
guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can be
different for different programs, so run it for all the programs you
use). Citations _and_ acknowledgments are vital for the continued work
on Gnuastro, so please don't forget to support us by doing so.
Dr. Mohammad Akhlaghi
Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA),
Plaza San Juan 1, Planta 2, Teruel 44001, Spain
 Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
The following people contributed changes to this release (number in
parenthesis shows number of Git commits):
Faezeh Bidjarchian (2)
Fathma Mehnoor (2)
Mohammad Akhlaghi (48)
Rashid Yaaqib (1)
Raul Infante-Sainz (1)
Sepideh Eskandarlou (6)
The following people provided comments, suggestions or reported bugs:
Colin Orion Chandler
Irene Pintos Castro
 Noteworthy changes since Gnuastro 0.20:
** New features
- 'astscript-dither-simulate': a new installed script that will simplify
the process of designing the best dither pattern for your observing
strategy. It takes into account the distortion of the camera, runs in
parallel and allows customizations (for example to account for
vignetting or large blobs of bad pixels) through hooks at relevant
steps. A new tutorial has been added in the Tutorials chapter of the
book on how to use this new script.
- New tutorial on a low surface brightness optimized design of a dither
pattern using the newly added installed script in Gnuastro for
simulating the exposure map of a dither pattern stack (it is called as
'astscript-dither-simulate' on the command-line).
- Smaller tutorials that were distributed within the documentation of
different programs are brought into the "Tutorials" chapter.
- New "Standard deviation vs. error" sub-section added under the
MakeCatalog section. It uses real examples to clearly show the
fundamental difference between the two (which are sometimes confused
with each other). This was written with the help of Raul Infante-Sainz.
- To separate the option name and value, you can now also use the '='
character. This allows your custom configuration files to also be
loaded into a shell (with 'source') or Make (with 'include'). Until
now, only white-space characters were allowed as separators of option
names and values.
--config-prefix=STR: Given string can be a prefix of options in
configuration files. Added with the point above, this allows loading
the different configuration files of different instances of the same
program without overwriting them. See the example in the book.
- New operators (see book for a full description):
- to-1d: convert the input operand into a 1D array, no matter how many
dimensions it has. Suggested by Faezeh Bidjarchian.
- trim: remove all fully-blank outer regions of the input dataset.
- pool-min: Min-pooling to reduce the size of the input by calculating
the minimum of a the pixels within the pooling window. See
the new "Pooling opeators" section of the book for
more. This and the rest of the pooling operators introduced
here were implemented by Faezeh Bidjarchian.
- pool-max: Similar to 'pool-min' but using maximum.
- pool-sum: Similar to 'pool-min' but using sum.
- pool-mean: Similar to 'pool-min' but using mean.
- pool-median: Similar to 'pool-min' but using median.
- It is now possible to write TIFF files in the output (until now,
Gnuastro could only read TIFF files). This step was written by Fathma
- New measurements:
--river-min: minimum river value around a clump.
--river-max: minimum river value around a clump.
--info-num-cols: print the number of the input table's columns and abort.
--info-num-rows: print the number of the input table's rows and abort.
- '$_all' in column arithmetic: when an arithmetic expression contains
this string, it will be repeated independently for all the columns of
the input table.
--mksrc: use a custom Makefile for estimating the zeropoint, not the
default installed Makefile. This is primarily intended for debugging or
developing this script, not for normal usage.
- gal_blank_not_minmax_coords: returns the minimum/maximum coordinates of
non-blank regions of input dataset.
- gal_blank_trim: trim all outer blank regions from the input dataset.
- gal_pool_min: min-pooling function, see 'pool-min' above.
- gal_pool_max: max-pooling function, see 'pool-min' above.
- gal_pool_sum: sum-pooling function, see 'pool-min' above.
- gal_pool_mean: mean-pooling function, see 'pool-min' above.
- gal_pool_median: median-pooling function, see 'pool-min' above.
- gal_tiff_write: write 'gal_data_t' to a TIFF file; written by
** Removed features
- MakeNoise (with executable name 'astmknoise') has been removed from
Gnuastro. This is because the 'mknoise-*' operators of Arithmetic do
the same job, but in a much more customizable, modular and managable
manner; allowing to mix with other operators. The "Noise basics"
sub-section of the book has been moved under the Arithmetic program's
** Changed features
- mknoise-sigma-from-mean: new name for the old 'mknoise-poisson'
random number distribution.
- mknoise-poisson: now produces correct Poisson distribution output,
which can be non-symmetric in low background values and is always
integers. For a complete description and hands-on example of the
differences with 'mknoise-sigma-from-mean' and 'mknoise-sigma', see
the description of these three operators in the "Random number
generators" operators sub-section of the "Arithmetic operators"
section of the Gnuastro book.
- The dash in the column names of the following measurement names has
been replced by underscore to conform with the general stardard of
using underscores between words in column names (reported by Raul
Infante-Sainz). Also, in the case of '--sigclip-mean-sb-delta' the
column name didn't correspond to the option name.
Option Column name Old column name
--sigclip-mean SIGCLIP_MEAN SIGCLIP-MEAN
--sigclip-median SIGCLIP_MEDIAN SIGCLIP-MEDIAN
--sigclip-number SIGCLIP_NUMBER SIGCLIP-NUMBER
--sigclip-std SIGCLIP_STD SIGCLIP-STD
--sigclip-mean-sb SIGCLIP_MEAN_SB SIGCLIP-MEAN-SB
--sigclip-mean-sb-delta SIGCLIP_MEAN_SB_DELTA SIGCLIP-MEAN-SB-ERR
- The default extension name for the values image ('--valueshdu') is now
'INPUT-NO-SKY'. Until now, it was simply '1' (without any hint on what
what is expected by default). Recall that if the sky is not subtracted
from the values image you can use '--sky' for MakeCatalog to subtract
it before the measurements. Implemented by Sepideh Eskandarlou.
- When the input clump labels do not have the 'NUMLABS' keyword
(specifying how many clumps there are in the image, independent of the
number of objects), MakeCatalog will no longer re-label the input
clumps: the output catalog will have the same clump ids as the
labels. Until now, it would generate new labels for the clumps in such
cases (along with a new FITS image containing the clumps with the new
labels to allow you to match them). The output catalog also had the new
label, not the original labels (the old behavior was therefore very
- The default name of the first extension of Segment's output is now
'INPUT-NO-SKY', until now, it was 'INPUT'. This was necessary because
the first extension of the output is not the exact input file (if a
value is given to '--sky' it will be subtracted from the input in the
first extension). Implemented by Sepideh Eskandarlou.
- After applying the signal-to-noise threshold (if it is requested), any
extra pixels that are not connected to the central target are also
masked. Such pixels can remain in rivers between bright clumps and
would cause problem in the final stack and were not removed until now.
Implemented by Sepideh Eskandarlou
** Bugs fixed
bug #64138: Arithmetic's mknoise-poisson only using first pixel value.
Reported by Irene Pintos Castro.
bug #64146: SIGCLIP column names contain dashes instead of
underlines. Reported by Raul Infante-Sainz.
bug #64148: MakeCatalog crash when using the options '--std' and/or
'sigclip-mean-sb-delta' for clumps catalog. Reported by Raul
bug #64153: astscript-ds9-region: '--namecol' gives a constant zero in
image-mode. Reported by Zahra Sharbaf.
bug #64186: Query: core dump when custom name given to '--dataset'. First
reported by Zohreh Ghaffari as a problem in
'astscript-select-stars' (sr #110874) and identified as a
problem in Query by Sepideh Eskandarlou.
bug #64199: info astscript-zeropoint not working. Reported by Zahra
bug #64246: Query's --information gives a crash for Gaia datasets.
Reported by Rashid Yaaqib.
bug #64250: astscript-fits-view: no message printed when input file did
not exist. Reported by Ryan Begley.
bug #64274: MakeProfiles crash for points in 3D. Found by Teet Kuumta.
bug #64303: Statistics fit --fitestimate crash when covariance matrix has
NaN. Reported Sepideh Eskandarlou.
bug #64357: Plain text metadata ignored when no name is present.
bug #64392: Arithmetic's isnotblank operator producing zeros when no
bug #64420: Error message of wrongly specified HDU doesn't give the
problematic option name; reported by Aaron Watkins.
bug #64431: gal_wcs_to_cd does not account for altlin==3. Reported by
Colin Orion Chandler.
bug #64541: Segment's --keepmaxnearriver has no effect.
bug #64544: Arithmetic crashes with tofilefree operator value has a
bug #64545: Accounting for CFITSIO silently appending '.gz' when file
doesn't exist. Reported by Sepideh Eskandarlou.
 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-0.20.60-d994.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-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz | tar -xf -'):
$ lzip -d gnuastro-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz
$ tar xf gnuastro-0.20.60-d994.tar
 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-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz.sig
The signature should match the fingerprint of the following key:
pub rsa4096 2018-12-08 [SC]
52B0 4484 D806 C90D CB52 7249 71E8 9901 2D17 4B66
uid [ unknown] Mohammad Akhlaghi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, or
that public key has expired, try the following commands to retrieve or
refresh it, and then rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
gpg --recv-keys 71E899012D174B66
As a last resort to find the key, you can try the official GNU keyring:
wget -q https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-keyring.gpg
gpg --keyring gnu-keyring.gpg --verify gnuastro-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz.sig
 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.
Autoconf archives v2023.02.20-29-g5001091
The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system are
 To get the base64 SHA256 checksum, you can use the command below
(assuming you already have the 'openssl' command-line program).
cat gnuastro-0.20.60-d994.tar.lz \
| openssl dgst -binary -sha256 | openssl base64 -A
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