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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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Hinweis: Einige Seiten auf astro.uni-tuebingen.de können veraltet sein und werden nicht mehr aktualisiert.
Note: Some webpages at astro.uni-tuebingen.de may be outdated and will no longer be updated.

Installed Software

This page tries to give an general overview about the software installed on the Unix-Systems of AIT. It is still far from complete, I'll add lots of links and descriptions whenever I don't have anything else to do. Please email inquiries on software to be installed to Jörn Wilms, but check my To-Do List first.

Astronomical (Data Analysis) Software


XSIMBAD is an X-interface to Simbad. Very useful for batch-processing and also when the internet connection is slow or if you can't use Simbad's web-interface. Version 1.10 is installed, which does not run on Sun yet due to missing libraries.


XEPHEM is a very exact and user-friendly planetarium program for Unix machines. It provides access to the Digital Sky Survey, to the Guide Star Catalogue, and to other astronomical catalogues (e.g., the Hipparcos catalogue, GCVS, etc.). It is currently only installed on the OSF machines.

As of 1998/07/19 we provide weekly monitoring of a large number of osculating elements for earth satellites, comets, and asteroids for xephem. Please refer to the separate XEPHEM Installed Catalogs Page for a complete listing of the installed catalogs.


On both, the OSF and Linux systems, the Newton-XMM Standard Analysis Software is installed.



Standard editor is emacs, a quick reference manual can be found in /usr/local/share/doc/emacs.refcard.ps on all Unix machines

Plotting and Data Analysis Software


IDL, the Interactive Data Language, is an interpreted language that is very useful for both, data analysis and general plotting. It is available on all Unix-Machines. A Short Introduction to IDL by Rob Rutten (186k gzipped Postscript) is available, PDF-files of the manuals can be found in /usr/local/share/rsi/idl_5.1/info/docs/
Currently, we have a five user license for all Unix-Machines, so please exit IDL if you don't need it anymore (one license costs more than 1000DM). We have many libraries installed on the Unix machines, that are fully documented. Documentation to even more IDL subroutines can be found in the IDL Astronomy User's Library at GSFC. Please email Jörn if you think that a library should be installed here.
When editing IDL Files, use the IDLWAVE mode for emacs!


ImageMagick is a set of programs that can be used to display images, to convert different image formats, and so on. In addition you can interactively resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, or add special effects to an image and save your completed work in the same or differing image format.


Ghostscript is a full-blown postscript interpreter and can be used to look at all different types of postscript output. We have the full documentation online in HTML, but for most questions, the user's manual is sufficient.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program (Gimp) is a very powerful image processing and manipulating software. It is available on the Linux and OSF machines (albeit in different versions). The bulk of the documentation is only available on the web, but we have the Gimp User's Manual, version 1.0.0 available as gzip'ed postscript. Warning this file is huge!


The ROOT system is a very powerful, object-oriented environment for data analysis and programming developed at CERN. It includes a C++ interpreter, code for building user interfaces, and much more.


XFig is a very powerful program to make any kind of line-oriented drawings. It is very easy to learn, and a good users manual is available on the web. Very often it is necessary to change postscript plots. Here, use the pstoedit program to convert the PS-File into the xfig format and then edit the file with xfig.

Data Bases

my SQL

For testing purposes, an SQL server is running on aittyc. Please email Jörn if you want to access the databases. the full documentation is available.



TeX is a full typesetting language. We have a very complete installation on the Unix-Machines, based on teTeX, including many PostScript fonts and additional classes. Since teTeX 1.0 the documentation is great.

If you want to convert TeX to HTML, use latex2html which is a pretty good conversion program. Currently installed is version 97.1.

For referencing astronomical papers, the BibTeX style astrobib is recommended. Jörn has modifications for that style available that produce references for Astronomy and Astrophysics and for the Astrophysical Journal.

WWW Facilities

WWW Server

Since 1998 July, our Web-Server is the Apache Web Server.

Operating Systems et al.


From 1998 December, aitzu3 is running Bind, Version 8, as the nameserving software. The documentation for named is only interesting for systems administrators.

Programming Languages


Programming languages available on all machines are Perl, Python, C, C++, Fortran 77, and IDL (see above). Fortran 90 is available on all OSF machines, on Linux, we have one license for the pgf90 compiler keyed to aitli04 (compiled code will run on all Linux machines).

To check the standard compliance of Fortran code use ftnchek.

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Jörn Wilms | Impressum
Last modified 2001 Nov 22