New VaST release (neat variable star search program)
The message below from Kirill Sokolovsky is to informs folks that a new version of VaST has been released (http://scan.sai.msu.ru/vast/). "VaST is a program aimed to find objects of variable brightness on a series of astronomical images." I recommend the software, and used it to find numerous variables in images taken at the Abbey Ridge Observatory (AAVSO member Dave Lane's observatory). Unfortunately, as is often the case, we haven't found the time to assemble those findings into a short study. Nevertheless, I think AAVSO members will find the (free) software rather useful.
Dear VaST users,
I am happy to announce that vast-1.0rc65 has just been released.
The changes include:
* Added linear magnitude correction as a function of star position on
a frame. This is useful to correct extinction on very wide field (a few
degrees) images such as those obtained in the NMW survey
( http://scan.sai.msu.ru/nmw/ ). By default, the program will turn on this
correction if the reference image has more than 10000 stars on it. You may
manually turn this correction on (off) by starting VaST with "-j" ("-J")
flag. If you have wide field images, try to experiment with this option
and see what works best for your data.
* The star matching algorithm is now allowed to use saturated and blended
stars for image identification. This slightly degrades the quality of the
initial plate solution, but that is corrected for at a later stage. The
good thing is that this change makes the algorithm much more stable and it
typically requires less reference stars to match images.
The image matching process becomes faster.
* Fixed broken links to WISE-Atlas in the transient detection mode.
* Fixed the lightcurve viewer (./lc) crash when one tries to delete the
first point from a non-VaST-formatted lightcurve.
The new VaST version may be obtained with the following commands:
# Download the archive file containing VaST source code
wget -c "http://scan.sai.msu.ru/vast/vast-1.0rc65.tar.bz2"
# Unpack the archive
tar -xvjf vast-1.0rc65.tar.bz2
# Change directory to the VaST root directory
# Compile VaST
More information may be found at the VaST homepage:
Enjoy the new version and, as usual, please send me your bug reports,
feature requests and notes about your overall impression of the software.
With best wishes,