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rvidlines noao.rv



rvidlines -- Measure radial velocities from spectral lines


rvidlines images


List of spectral images in which to identify spectral lines and measure a velocity. The spectra must be dispersion calibrated in Angstroms.
section = "middle line"
If an image is not one dimensional or given as a one dimensional image section then the image section given by this parameter is used. The section is used to define the initial vector and the direction (columns, lines, or "z") of the image vectors to be fit. The image is still considered to be two or three dimensional and it is possible to change the data vector within the program.

The section parameter may be specified directly as an image section or in one of the following forms

line|column|x|y|z first|middle|last|# [first|middle|last|#]]
first|middle|last|# [first|middle|last|#] line|column|x|y|z

where each field can be one of the strings separated by | except for # which is an integer number. The field in [] is a second designator which is used with 3D data. See the example section for examples of this syntax. Abbreviations are allowed though beware that l is not a sufficient abbreviation.

database = "database"
Database in which the feature data and redshifts are recorded.
coordlist = ""
User coordinate list consisting of an ordered list of rest spectral line coordinates. If a line list is defined lines from the list may be automatically found and added to the lines being measured.
nsum = "10"
Number of lines, columns, or bands across the designated vector axis to be summed when the image is a two or three dimensional spatial spectrum. It does not apply to multispec format spectra. If the image is three dimensional an optional second number can be specified for the higher dimensional axis (the first number applies to the lower axis number and the second to the higher axis number). If a second number is not specified the first number is used for both axes.
match = 5.
The maximum difference for a match between the measured line coordinate and a coordinate in the coordinate list. The units of this parameter is that of the user coordinates.
maxfeatures = 50
Maximum number of the strongest features to be selected automatically from the coordinate list (function l) or from the image data (function y).
zwidth = 100.
Width of graphs, in user coordinates, when in zoom mode (function z).

The following parameters are used in determining feature positions.

ftype = "absorption" (emission|absorption|gemission|gabsorption)
Type of features to be identified. The possibly abbreviated choices are "emission", "absorption", "gemission", and "gabsorption". The first two select the center1d centering algorithm while the last two select the Gaussian fitting centering algorithm.
fwidth = 4.
Width in pixels of features to be identified.
cradius = 5.
The maximum distance, in pixels, allowed between a feature position and the initial estimate when defining a new feature.
threshold = 0.
In order for a feature center to be determined the range of pixel intensities around the feature must exceed this threshold.
minsep = 2.
The minimum separation, in pixels, allowed between feature positions when defining a new feature.

The following parameters control the input and output.

logfile = "logfile"
Log file for recording the results of the velocity measurments. The results are written when exiting or changing input images. The results can be previewed with the ":features" command. If no log file is specified then the results are not saved.
autowrite = no
Automatically write or update the logfile and database? If no then a query is given for writing results to the logfile. A query for writing to the database is also given if the feature data have been modified. If yes exiting the program automatically writes to the logfile and updates the database.
keywpars = ""
The image header keyword translation table as described in the keywpars named pset. This defines the header keywords used to obtain the observation information needed for computing the heliocentric velocity.
graphics = "stdgraph"
Graphics device. The default is the standard graphics device which is generally a graphics terminal.
cursor = ""
Cursor input file. If a cursor file is not given then the standard graphics cursor is read.


The measured velocities are corrected to a heliocentric frame of reference if possible. This requires determining various parameters about the observation. The latitude, longitude, and altitude of the observation are determined from the observatory database. The observatory is defined by either the OBSERVAT image header keyword or the "observatory" package parameter in that order. See the help for observatory for additional information.

The date, universal time, right ascension, declination, and coordinate epoch for the observation are obtained from the image header. The keywords for these parameters are defined in the keywpars parameter set. Note that the parameters used are "ra", "dec", "ut", and "date-obs". The "utmiddle" parameter is not used so if you have a keyword for the middle of the exposure that you want to use then you must set the "ut" parameter to reference that keyword.

Before IRAF V2.12, if the date keyword included a time then that time was used and the "ut" keyword was not used. In V2.12 this was changed and the time is always taken from the keyword specified by "ut". However, the value can be in either a single time or a date/time string. So if you want to use both the date and time from the same keyword, say DATE-OBS, then point the "date_obs" and "ut" parameters in KEYWPARS to the same keyword.


?  Clear the screen and print menu of options
a  Apply next (c)enter or (d)elete operation to (a)ll features
b  Mark and de(b)lend features by Gaussian fitting
c  (C)enter the feature nearest the cursor
d  (D)elete the  feature nearest the cursor
f  (F)it redshift and velocity from the fitted and user coordinates
i  (I)nitialize (delete features and coordinate fit)
j  Go to the preceding image line/column/band/aperture
k  Go to the next image line/column/band/aperture
l  Match coordinates in the coordinate (l)ist
m  (M)ark new feature near the cursor and enter coord and label
n  Move the cursor or zoom to the (n)ext feature (same as +)
o  Go to the specified image line/column/band/aperture
p  (P)an to user defined window after (z)ooming on a feature
q  (Q)uit and continue with next image (also carriage return)
r  (R)edraw the graph
t  Reset the position of a feature without centering
u  Enter a new (u)ser coordinate and label for the current feature
w  (W)indow the graph.  Use '?' to window prompt for more help.
y  Automatically find strongest peaks and identify them
z  (Z)oom on the feature nearest the cursor
.  Move the cursor or zoom to the feature nearest the cursor
+  Move the cursor or zoom to the next feature
-  Move the cursor or zoom to the previous feature
I  Interrupt task and exit immediately

The parameters are listed or set with the following commands which may be abbreviated. To list the value of a parameter type the command alone.

:show file		Show the values of all the parameters
:features file		Write feature list to file (default STDOUT)

:coordlist file		Coordinate list file
:cradius value		Centering radius in pixels
:threshold value	Detection threshold for feature centering
:database name		Database for recording feature records
:ftype value		Feature type
:fwidth value		Feature width in pixels
:image imagename 	Set a new image or show the current image
:labels value		Feature label type
:match value		Coordinate list matching distance
:maxfeatures value	Maximum number of features automatically found
:minsep value		Minimum separation allowed between features
:read name ap		Read a record from the database
			  (name/ap default to the current spectrum)
:write name ap		Write a record to the database
			  (name/ap default to the current spectrum)
:add name ap		Add features from the database
			  (name/ap default to the current spectrum)
:zwidth value		Zoom width in user units

      none - No labels
     index - Sequential numbers in increasing pixel position
     pixel - Pixel coordinates
    coords - User coordinates such as wavelength
      user - User labels
      both - Combination of coords and user


Rvidlines measures radial velocities from spectra by determining the wavelength shift in spectral lines relative to specified rest wavelengths. The basic usage consists of identifying one or more spectral lines (also called features), entering the rest wavelengths, and computing the average wavelength shift converted to a radial velocity. Additional lines can then be automatically added from a coordinate list of rest wavelengths.

Each dispersion calibrated image in the input list is examined in turn. If the image is not one dimensional or a one dimensional section of an image then the image section given by the parameter section is used. This parameter may be specified in several ways as described in the parameter and examples sections. The image section is used to select a starting vector and image axis. The parameter nsum determines the number of lines, columns, or bands to sum in a two or three dimensional image.

Once a spectrum has been selected it is graphed. The graph title includes the image name, spectrum title, and the current velocity and redshift if one has been determined. An initial feature list is read from the database if an entry exists. The features are marked on the graph by tick marks. The features may also be labeled using the ":label" option. The graph has the observed wavelength scale along the bottom and the rest wavelength scale along the top (if a velocity has been determined). The status line gives the pixel coordinate, observed wavelength, rest wavelength (as computed by the last velocity computation), the true rest wavelength, the velocity residual, and an optional identification string for the "current" feature.

The graphics cursor is used to select features and perform various functions. A menu of the keystroke options and functions is printed with the key ?. The cursor keys and their functions are defined in the CURSOR KEYS section and described further below. The standard cursor mode keys are also available to window and redraw the graph and to produce hardcopy "snaps".

There are two types of feature selection functions; defining new features and selecting previously defined features. The m key marks a new feature near the cursor position. The feature position is determined by a centering algorithm. There are two algorithms; a flux bisecting algorithm called center1d and a gaussian profile fitting algorithm. The choice of fitting algorithm and whether the feature is an emission or absorption line is set by the ftype parameter.

The center1d algorithm is described in the help topic center1d . The parameters which control it are fwidth , ftype , cradius , and threshold .

The gaussian fitting algorithm estimates a linear local background by looking for the minimum or maximum, depending on whether the feature type is set to absorption or emission, within a distance of the entered cursor position of one-half the feature width specified by the fwidth parameter plus the centering error radius specified by the cradius parameters. This background estimation is crude but generally is not critical for reasonably strong lines. Once the sloped background is defined a non-linear Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm determines the gaussian center, peak strength, and sigma. The initial estimates for these parameters are the starting center, the background subtracted pixel value at the starting center, and the fwidth value divided by six. After fitting the gaussian model it is overplotted on the data for comparison. The threshold parameter also applies to this algorithm to check for a minimum data range and the cradius parameter checks for a maximum error in the center from the initial value.

For a more critical setting of the background in the gaussian algorithm or for the simultanous solution of multiple gaussian components (deblending) the b key is available. The b key is used to mark the initial positions of up to ten features. The feature marking ends with q. The user is then queried to mark two points for the linear background. After doing the simultaneous fitting the user is queried sequentially for the rest wavelengths of each line. Note that the b key will do the gaussian fitting regardless of whether the ftype setting is for a gaussian or not and can be used for fitting just a single line.

When a feature is defined the value of ftype and fwidth are associated with the feature. Subsequent recentering will use these values even if the default values are changed. This is how a combination of absorption and emission lines may be defined. The only constraint to this is that the feature data does not record the combination of lines used in a deblending operation so automatic recentering will treat each line separately.

When a new feature is marked if the wavelength is within a distance given by the parameter minsep of a previous feature it is considered to be the same feature and replaces the old feature. The coordinate list is searched for a match between the measured wavelength, corrected to rest using the current velocity, and a user coordinate in the list. The matching is based on the nearest line within a specified match distance. If a match is found it becomes the default user coordinate which the user may override. The new feature is marked on the graph and it becomes the current feature. The redefinition of a feature which is within the minimum separation may be used to set the user coordinate from the coordinate list. The t key allows setting the position of a feature to other than that found by the centering algorithms.

If at least one feature is marked with it's rest wavelength specified then the l key may be used to identify additional features from a coordinate list of rest wavelengths. First a velocity is computed from the initial features. Then each coordinate in the list is corrected to the observed velocity and a feature is sought in the data at that point. Up to a maximum number of features, set by the parameter maxfeatures , may be defined in this way. A new velocity is computed using all the located features.

The y key provides another way to add features. Rather than look for features at the coordinates of a list, a peak finding algorithm is used to find features up to the specified maximum number. If there are more peaks only the strongest are kept. The peaks are then matched against the coordinate list to find user coordinate values.

To select a different feature as the current feature the keys ., n, +, and - are used. The . selects the feature nearest the cursor, the n and + select the next feature, and the - selects the previous feature relative to the current feature in the feature list as ordered by pixel coordinate. These keys are useful when redefining the user coordinate with the u key and when examining features in zoom mode.

The key f computes ("fits") a velocity to the defined features. This is done by taking a weighted average of the redshifts,

	z = (measured - true) / true

of the individual lines. The default weights are always one but a different weight may be entered with the u key. The average redshift is converted to a Cz velocity (redshift times the speed of light) and corrected to a heliocentric frame if possible.

The heliocentric correction requires observatory and observation information. The observatory is determined either from the OBSERVAT keyword in the image header or by the "rv.observatory" package parameter. For a discussion of how an observatory is defined and used see the help for observatory . In addition to the observatory the right ascension, declination, coordinate epoch, and date and time of the observation are required. If the time is in the date string it has precedence over the time keyword. This information is sought in the image header using the keywords defined in the keywpars parameter file. If there is insufficient information for the heliocentric velocity correction only the observed velocity will be given. The type of velocity (both velocity and redshift) is indicated by identifiers such as Vobs and Vhelio.

Note that a new velocity is only computed after typing f, l, ":features", or when exiting and writing the results to the database. In other words, adding new features or deleting existing features does not automatically update the velocity determination.

Features may be deleted with the key d. All features are deleted when the a key immediately precedes the delete key. Deleting the features does not reset the velocity. The i key initializes everything by removing all features and reseting the velocity.

It is common to transfer the feature identifications and velocities from one image to another. When a new image without a database entry is examined, such as when going to the next image in the input list, changing image lines or columns with j, k and o, or selecting a new image with the ":image" command, the current feature list and velocity are kept. Alternatively, a database record from a different image may be read with the ":read" command. When transfering feature identifications between images the feature coordinates will not agree exactly with the new image feature positions and several options are available to reregister the feature positions. The key c centers the feature nearest the cursor using the current position as the starting point. When preceded with the a key all the features are recentered (the user must refit the coordinate function if desired). As an aside, the recentering function is also useful when the parameters governing the feature centering algorithm are changed. An additional options is the ":add" command to add features from a database record. This does not overwrite previous features as does ":read".

Note that when a set of spectra all have the same features in nearly the same location the task rvreidlines may be used to reidentify the lines and compute a new velocity.

In addition to the single keystroke commands there are commands initiated by the key : (colon commands). As with the keystroke commands there are a number of standard graphics features available beginning with ":." (type "" for these commands). The rvidlines colon commands allow the task parameter values to be listed and to be reset within the task. A parameter is listed by typing its name. The colon command ":show" lists all the parameters. A parameter value is reset by typing the parameter name followed by the new value; for example ":match 10". Other colon commands display the feature list and velocities (:features), control reading and writing records to the database (:read and :write), and set the graph display format.

The feature identification process for an image is completed by typing q to quit. Attempting to quit an image without explicitly logging the results or recording changes in the feature database produces a warning message unless the autowrite parameter is set. If this parameter is not set prompts are given asking whether to save the results to the log file and the database, otherwise the results are automatically saved. As an immediate exit the I interrupt key may be used. This does not save the feature information and may leave the graphics in a confused state.

The information recorded in the logfile, if one is specified, includes information about the observatory used for heliocentric corrections (to verify the correct observatory was used), the list of features used in the velocity computation, the wavelength and velocity RMS, and lines with the observed and heliocentric redshifts and velocities. These lines include an error in the mean derived from the weighted RMS and the number of lines used, and the number of lines. This output format is designed so that if there are multiple velocities recorded in the same log file they can be easily extracted with the match command:

    cl> match Vhelio logfile
    im1 45 : Vhelio = 15.06 km/s, Mean err = 4.593 km/s, Lines = 7
    im1 40 : Vhelio = 17.77 km/s, Mean err = 3.565 km/s, Lines = 7
    im2 45 : Vhelio = 24.44 km/s, Mean err = 3.741 km/s, Lines = 7
    im2 40 : Vhelio = 14.65 km/s, Mean err =  11.2 km/s, Lines = 7


The database specified by the parameter database is a directory of simple text files. The text files have names beginning with id followed by the entry name, usually the name of the image. The database text files consist of a number of records. A record begins with a line starting with the keyword "begin". The rest of the line is the record identifier. Records read and written by rvidlines have "identify" as the first word of the identifier. Following this is a name which may be specified following the ":read" or ":write" commands. If no name is specified then the image name is used. For 1D spectra the database entry includes the aperture number and so to read a solution from a aperture different than the current image and aperture number must be specified. For 2D/3D images the entry name has the 1D image section which is what is specified to read the entry. The lines following the record identifier contain the feature information and redshift (without heliocentric correction).

The database files have the name "identify" and the prefix "id" because these files may also be read by the identify task for changing the dispersion function based on the rest wavelengths.


1. The radial velocity of the spectrum, kstar1, is to be determined. The user creates a list of line features to be used in the file klines.dat.

    cl> rvidlines kstar1 coord=klines.dat
	a. The spectrum is drawn
	b. A line is marked with 'm'
	c. Enter the rest wavelength
	d. Compute a velocity with 'f'
	e. Find other lines in the list with 'l'
	f. Exit with 'q'
    Write velocity data to the logfile (yes)? y
    Write feature data to the database (yes)? y
    cl> match Vhelio logfile
    kstar1 1 : Vhelio = 25.1 km/s, Mean err = 1.123 km/s, Lines = 10

2. For echelle or multispec spectra the keys o, j, and k may be used to switch between spectra. Note that the inheritance of features in echelle orders is not very useful. So the i can be used to initialize. For similar spectra the a'c' key combination may be used to recenter all lines and the a new f fit can be done.

3. For images which are two or three dimensional it is necessary to specify the image axis for the data vector and the number of pixels at each point across the vector direction to sum. One way specify a vector is to use an image section to define a vector. For example, to select column 20:

    cl> rvidlines obj[20,*]

The alternative is to use the section parameter. Below are some examples of the section parameter syntax for an image "im2d" which is 100x200 and "im3d" which is 100x200x50. On the left is the section string syntax and on the right is the image section

    Section parameter |  Image section      |  Description
    first line        |  im2d[*,1]          |  First image line
    middle column     |  im2d[50,*]         |  Middle image column
    last z            |  im3d[100,200,*]    |  Last image z vector
    middle last y     |  im3d[50,*,50]      |  Image y vector
    line 20           |  im2d[*,20]         |  Line 20
    column 20         |  im2d[20,*]         |  Column 20
    x 20              |  im2d[*,20]         |  Line 20
    y 20              |  im2d[20,*]         |  Column 20
    y 20 30           |  im2d[20,*,30]      |  Column 20
    z 20 30	      |  im3d[20,30,*]      |  Image z vector
    x middle          |  im3d[*,100,25]     |  Middle of image
    y middle          |  im3d[50,*,25]      |  Middle of image
    z middle          |  im3d[50,100,*]     |  Middle of image

The most common usage should be "middle line", "middle column" or "middle z".

The summing factors apply to the axes across the specified vector. For 3D images there may be one or two values. The following shows which axes are summed, the second and third columns, when the vector axis is that shown in the first column.

    Vector axis       |   Sum axis in 2D    |  Sum axes in 3D
         1            |         2           |      2 3                 
         2            |         1           |      1 3                 
         3            |         -           |      1 2                 


This task will now work in the units of the input spectra.
This is a new task in this version.


center1d, fxcor, gtools, identify, keywpars, observatory, rvcorrect, rvreidlines

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