MISAO Project

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1998 Dec. 27

    Renewal of PIXY system and the documents    

MISAO Project Announce Mail (Dec. 27, 1998)

Hello. I am Seiichi Yoshida working on the MISAO project.

Today the new version of the automatic image examination system PIXY is released. And the WWW pages of the PIXY system are renewed.

The PIXY system has been modified on a large scale in November and December. The main modifications are as follows.

  • Establishment of PXF file format to save the examination result.
  • Modification so that all processes, such as identification with known variable stars, work based on the PXF file.
  • All processes, such as identification with known variable stars, are intensively controlled by misao.pixy.Pixy.
  • Programs on identification and construction of identification database are also included in the open package.
  • Establishment of batch file format for image examination (which enables to examine several images at one time).

In the old version, both the midway progress and the examination results were output into one file (log file). After examination by the PIXY system, the results of identification with known variable stars were output in another format into DAT file.

In this version, PXF file format is established, to be the base of all processes related to the PIXY system. Examining an image by the PIXY system, only the results are saved in the PXF file. In addition, the identification works based on the PXF file, and the results of identification is also saved in the PXF file.

The user can also save the midway progress into .log file as in the old version. It is usually not in need. However, when the image examination cannot work well and you would like to ask me the reason, please save the midway progress in .log file.

In the old version, the image examination process by the PIXY system and the identification process with known variable stars are completely independent. However, all processes are intensively controlled by one program misao.pixy.Pixy in this version. Selecting the process are done by the option. When running the PIXY system with no option as:

  java misao.pixy.Pixy

the list of acceptable options are printed.

-arg <arguments>                      Run PIXY with parameters in arguments.
-batch <batch file>                   Run PIXY with parameters in batch file.
-console                              Run PIXY setting parameters in Q&A style.
-diff <pxf file1> <pxf file2>         Output difference between two images.
-identify <pxf file> [<check file>]   Identification with known variable stars.
-review <pxf file> [<image>]          Review PIXY with a PXF file.
-test detect                          Run PIXY to check raw detected stars.
-test matching                        Run PIXY to check data used for matching.

Identification programs with known variable stars were not put open in the public before. But now they are included in the open package. At the same time, the programs to construct the identification database are also included in the package. You can add such public catalogs as GCVS2000, IRAS PSC, etc., which are available via WWW, into the identification database.

Now that the usage of the PIXY system, the file format, and so on are changed on a large scale, the WWW pages on the PIXY system are renewed. Documents are filled up. They are available at the PIXY system's home page:


Here shows you only the index. The package of these documents is also available.

  • First Step
    • Snapshot
    • Download
    • Install
    • Tutorial
  • Reference Guide
    • Running PIXY
    • Input Parameters
    • PXF File Format
    • GUI
    • Package
  • Additional Applications
    • Catalog Viewer
    • Image Viewer
    • Distance
  • Others
    • Sample images PIXY can examine
    • Identification Database Construction

Furthermore, the survey style of new variable stars in the MISAO Project, based on the magnitude data obtained by the PIXY system, is established. For details, please read:

Policy on magnitude data management and new objects survey

KenIchi Kadota and I have been working on the Ageo Survey (previously called Bistar Survey) and many images have been accumulated. Based on the images, we will start to search new variable stars following the policy mentioned above. Before beginning the survey actually, we have to solve one problem, the magnitude error estimation, in order to determine if a star is really variable or not, based on the several magnitude data.

BTW, the function to check the difference between two images using -diff option is not included in this version. In order to complete this function, we also have to solve one problem, the magnitude error estimation, in order to determine if a star is really variable or not, based on the two magnitude data.

In this version, the PIXY system utilizes the programs on FITS file I/O implemented by Dr. Taichi Kato.

I received the GUIDE 7.0 CD-ROM from Dr. Bill J. Gray, the Project Pluto. In the future, I will improve the PIXY system so that it can use catalogs in the CD-ROM for image examination or identification.

I received the set of USNO-A2.0 CD-ROMs from Dr. Bruce Koehn and Dr. David G. Monet, the U.S. Naval Observatory. Although it is not supported in this version, the USNO-A2.0 will be supported soon in the future.

The past MISAO project announce mails are available at:


Seiichi Yoshida
Muraoka Lab., Waseda University, Japan

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