1 A SPECX “Cookbook”

SPECX is a versatile spectral line data reduction package written by Rachael Padman (Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, U.K), and supported also by Starlink and local effort at the Joint Astronomy Centre in Hilo, Hawaii. It is made available to all users at the JCMT, and a standalone version can be downloaded from the JCMT home page on the Web.1

This guide (“Cookbook”, perhaps) was first written long ago2 to help the novice SPECX user get a spectrum on the screen and do some simple data reduction. The original aim is preserved in this version: it is not meant to be a complete manual on all the facets of SPECX; the definitive words on any topic contained in this section will be found in the full SPECX manual, written by Rachael Padman, and which should be readily to hand at the JCMT, Hale Pohaku, and at the JAC. For questions regarding the way SPECX works, the staff scientist assigned to support your observing run should be able to assist in the more mundane ‘how-to’ questions; don’t bother the software group with these. This “Cookbook” is available on the WWW in HTML at http://starlink.eao.hawaii.edu/docs/sc8.htx/sc8.html. It is likely that the Web versions will be more up-to-date than any printed version.

Note: SPECX is currently in version 6.7; at JAC this is the version installed under Unix, while only version 6.3 is available on VMS platforms. Version 7.0 is rumoured to be in the works. This “cookbook” deals primarily with version 6.7 under Unix There are a considerable number of changes in this release which make previous documentation obsolete, including older versions of this Cookbook. Older documentation should be discarded. This Cookbook is not intended to be a complete description of SPECX. As far as I am aware there is no complete up-to-date manual for SPECX right now, the last being for version 6.3.

1Contact Tim Jenness at the JAC in the first instance regarding this implementation of SPECX, if you want to, say, install it at your home institution. The UNIX version may be downloaded from the JCMT Web page; please register using the form given there if you decide to go this way.

2The first version of this section appeared as the ‘SPECX Cookbook’ and was written by Thomas Walker. He moved on to greater things, but still accepts accolades and greenbacks at walker@stsci.edu.