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Tools for making DEIMOS slit masks

Project description

Utilities for designing DEIMOS slitmasks

Contact: <>

Website: <>

Required packages

  • numpy (tested on 1.11.0)
  • astropy (tested on 1.1.1)
  • matplotlib (tested on 1.5.0)
  • astroquery (tested on 0.3.1)


This package is for creating distributions of SKiMS (Stellar Kinematics with Multiple Slits) which optimally sample the integrated stellar light of a galaxy.

Authors: Nicola Pastorello and Asher Wasserman

This packages installs the superskims script, which creates dsim input files for a given galaxy.

> usage: superskims [-h] [-m MU_EFF] [-r RA] [-d DEC] [-q] > name R_eff axial_ratio position_angle num_masks > > This script generates dsim input files from the inputted galaxy parameters > > positional arguments: > name Name of galaxy for output and NED lookup > R_eff Effective radius of galaxy in arcseconds > axial_ratio Ratio of minor axis to major axis > position_angle In degrees counter-clockwise from North > num_masks Number of masks for the galaxy > > optional arguments: > -h, –help show this help message and exit > -m MU_EFF, –mu_eff MU_EFF > Effective surface brightness in mag/arcsec^2, default > is 22 > -r RA, –ra RA Right ascension, in degrees J2000. If name is findable > by NED, will use that one instead. > -d DEC, –dec DEC Declination, in degrees J2000. If name is findable by > NED, will use that one instead. > -q, –quiet If toggled, suppress console output.

For more fine-grained control, you can access the Mask and Galaxy classes through the masktools.superskims package while within a python environment, e.g.,:

from masktools import superskims
from astropy.coordinates import SkyCoord
center = SkyCoord('12h35m37.9s +12d15m50s')
galaxy = superskims.Galaxy(name='N4551', center=center, r_eff=16.6,
                           axial_ratio=0.75, position_angle=70.5)
for mask in galaxy.masks:
    output_file = + '_PA{:0.1f}_superskims.dsim'.format(mask.mask_pa)
    superskims.outputs.save_to_dsim(mask,, output_file)


This package is for obtaining good guide stars and align stars for a mask. Work in progress. The get_table method in the query_usno model is likely to be reorganized at some point.

Project details

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