ARCHANGEL: Galaxy Photometry System

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ARCHANGEL is Unix based package for the surface photometry of galaxies. While oriented for large angular size systems (i.e. many pixels), its tools can be applied to any imaging data of any size. The package core contains routines to perform the following critical galaxy photometry functions:

  • sky determination
  • frame cleaning
  • ellipse fitting
  • profile fitting
  • total and isophotal magnitudes

The goal of the package is provide an automated, assembly-line type of reduction system for galaxy photometry of space-based or ground-based imaging data. The procedures outlined in the documentation are flux independent, thus, these routines can be used for non-optical data as well as typical imaging datasets.

ARCHANGEL has been tested on several current OS's (RedHat Linux, Ubuntu Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X). A tarball for installation is available at the download page. The main routines are Python and FORTRAN based, therefore, a current installation of Python and a FORTRAN compiler are required.

For users who do not wish to install the package on their own machine, there is a browser based version of the package (with fewer features) found at the Client/Server link.

The ARCHANGEL package also contains Python hooks to the PGPLOT package, an XML processor and network tools which automatically link to data archives (i.e. NED, HST, 2MASS, etc) to download images in a non-interactive manner. Future releases will include links to the reduction of the entire 2MASS catalog and the RSA catalog.


This project was supported by NASA's AISR Program and NSF's Astronomical Sciences Division. NASA provided support for the software development, NSF provided support for the acquisition and reduction of science data (LSB galaxies and high redshift cluster photometry) in parallel to software development.

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