Tips & Tricks

Here I list a number of useful (at least to me) things I was lucky to find out.


Changing the background color in ds9

While working on the podi pipeline I grew tired of the white background in ds9. After some poking around the source code I learned that ds9 (which is largely based on tcl/tk) understands all tk colors. With some googling I found a website listing all (?) tk colors. My new favorite is grey10, pretty dark but with enough contrast to real black to discriminate non-defined pixels from the background.

To change the color is ds9, go to
Edit -> Preferences -> General
you’ll find two options for background color and the NaN/Inf color. From them, click on the dropdown box and choose “Other color”, then enter any of the colors from the above website. Upper/Lower case doesn’t seem to matter.

Even more colors with illustrations can be found using the Tcl/Tk tool Named Colors



Getting the solar symbol into gnuplot

Not sure where I found that one a while ago, but that’s how you do it:

In your “set terminal …” line add
fontfile ‘/usr/share/texmf/fonts/type1/bluesky/cm/cmsy10.pfb’

to get the solar symbol (the circle with the dot in the middle), use
{/CMSY10 \\014}

a solar mass hence would be written as M_{/CMSY10 \\014}.