Next: Operation precedence in Table, Previous: Table, Up: Table [Contents][Index]

In many scenarios, you want to apply some kind of operation on the columns and save them in another table or feed them into another program. With Table you can do a rich set of operations on the contents of one or more columns in a table, and save the resulting values as new column(s) in the output table. For seeing the precedence of Column arithmetic in relation to other Table operators, see Operation precedence in Table.

To enable column arithmetic, the first 6 characters of the value to `--column` (`-c`

) should be the activation word ‘`arith `’ (note the space character in the end, after ‘`arith`

’).
After the activation word, you can use reverse polish notation to identify the operators and their operands, see Reverse polish notation.
Just note that white-space characters are used between the tokens of the arithmetic expression and that they are meaningful to the command-line environment.
Therefore the whole expression (including the activation word) has to be quoted on the command-line or in a shell script (see the examples below).

To identify a column you can directly use its name, or specify its number (counting from one, see Selecting table columns).
When you are giving a column number, it is necessary to prefix the number with a `$`

, similar to AWK.
Otherwise the number is not distinguishable from a constant number to use in the arithmetic operation.

for example, with the command below, the first two columns of `table.fits` will be printed along with a third column that is the result of multiplying the first column with \(10^{10}\) (for example, to convert wavelength from Meters to Angstroms).
Note that without the ‘`$`’, it is not possible to distinguish between “1” as a column-counter, or “1” as a constant number to use in the arithmetic operation.
Also note that because of the significance of `$` for the command-line environment, the single-quotes are the recommended quoting method (as in an AWK expression), not double-quotes (for the significance of using single quotes see the box below).

$ asttable table.fits -c1,2 -c'arith $1 1e10 x'

$ is used to expand variables, for example, `echo $PATH` prints the value (a string of characters) in the variable `PATH` , it will not simply print `$PATH` .
This operation is also permitted within double quotes, so `echo "$PATH"` will produce the same output.
This is good when printing values, for example, in the command below, `$PATH` will expand to the value within it.
$ echo "My path is: $PATH" If you actually want to return the literal string $ echo 'My path is: $PATH' Therefore, when your column arithmetic involves the |

Alternatively, if the columns have meta-data and the first two are respectively called `AWAV`

and `SPECTRUM`

, the command above is equivalent to the command below.
Note that the character ‘`$`’ is no longer necessary in this scenario (because names will not be confused with numbers):

$ asttable table.fits -cAWAV,SPECTRUM -c'arith AWAV 1e10 x'

Comparison of the two commands above clearly shows why it is recommended to use column names instead of numbers.
When the columns have descriptive names, the command/script actually becomes much more readable, describing the intent of the operation.
It is also independent of the low-level table structure: for the second command, the column numbers of the `AWAV`

and `SPECTRUM`

columns in `table.fits` is irrelevant.

Column arithmetic changes the values of the data within the column.
So the old column meta data cannot be used any more.
By default the output column of the arithmetic operation will be given a generic metadata (for example, its name will be `ARITH_1`

, which is hardly useful!).
But meta data are critically important and it is good practice to always have short, but descriptive, names for each columns, units and also some comments for more explanation.
To add metadata to a column, you can use the `--colmetadata` option that is described in Invoking Table and Operation precedence in Table.

Since the arithmetic expressions are a value to `--column`, it does not necessarily have to be a separate option, so the commands above are also identical to the command below (note that this only has one `-c` option).
Just be very careful with the quoting!
With the `--colmetadata` option, we are also giving a name, units and a comment to the third column.

$ asttable table.fits -cAWAV,SPECTRUM,'arith AWAV 1e10 x' \ --colmetadata=3,AWAV_A,angstrom,"Wavelength (in Angstroms)"

In case you need to append columns from other tables (with `--catcolumnfile`), you can use those extra columns in column arithmetic also.
The easiest, and most robust, way is that your columns of interest (in all files whose columns are to be merged) have different names.
In this scenario, you can simply use the names of the columns you plan to append.
If there are similar names, note that by default Table appends a `-N`

to similar names (where `N`

is the file counter given to `--catcolumnfile`, see the description of `--catcolumnfile` for more).
Using column numbers can get complicated: if the number is smaller than the main input’s number of columns, the main input’s column will be used.
Otherwise (when the requested column number is larger than the main input’s number of columns), the final output (after appending all the columns from all the possible files) column number will be used.

Almost all the arithmetic operators of Arithmetic operators are also supported for column arithmetic in Table.
In particular, the few that are not present in the Gnuastro library^{126} are not yet supported for column arithmetic.
Besides the operators in Arithmetic operators, several operators are only available in Table to use on table columns.

`wcs-to-img`

Convert the given WCS positions to image/dataset coordinates based on the number of dimensions in the WCS structure of

`--wcshdu`extension/HDU in`--wcsfile`. It will output the same number of columns. The first popped operand is the last FITS dimension.for example, the two commands below (which have the same output) will produce 5 columns. The first three columns are the input table’s ID, RA and Dec columns. The fourth and fifth columns will be the pixel positions in

`image.fits`that correspond to each RA and Dec.$ asttable table.fits -cID,RA,DEC,'arith RA DEC wcs-to-img' \ --wcsfile=image.fits $ asttable table.fits -cID,RA -cDEC \ -c'arith RA DEC wcs-to-img' --wcsfile=image.fits

`img-to-wcs`

Similar to

`wcs-to-img`

, except that image/dataset coordinates are converted to WCS coordinates.`distance-flat`

Return the distance between two points assuming they are on a flat surface. Note that each point needs two coordinates, so this operator needs four operands (currently it only works for 2D spaces). The first and second popped operands are considered to belong to one point and the third and fourth popped operands to the second point.

Each of the input points can be a single coordinate or a full table column (containing many points). In other words, the following commands are all valid:

$ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith X1 Y1 X2 Y2 distance-flat' $ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith X Y 12.345 6.789 distance-flat' $ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith 12.345 6.789 X Y distance-flat'

In the first case we are assuming that

`table.fits`has the following four columns`X1`

,`Y1`

,`X2`

,`Y2`

. The returned column by this operator will be the difference between two points in each row with coordinates like the following (`X1`

,`Y1`

) and (`X2`

,`Y2`

). In other words, for each row, the distance between different points is calculated. In the second and third cases (which are identical), it is assumed that`table.fits`has the two columns`X`

and`Y`

. The returned column by this operator will be the difference of each row with the fixed point at (12.345, 6.789).`distance-on-sphere`

Return the spherical angular distance (along a great circle, in degrees) between the given two points. Note that each point needs two coordinates (in degrees), so this operator needs four operands. The first and second popped operands are considered to belong to one point and the third and fourth popped operands to the second point.

Each of the input points can be a single coordinate or a full table column (containing many points). In other words, the following commands are all valid:

$ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith RA1 DEC1 RA2 DEC2 distance-on-sphere' $ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith RA DEC 9.876 5.432 distance-on-sphere' $ asttable table.fits \ -c'arith 9.876 5.432 RA DEC distance-on-sphere'

In the first case we are assuming that

`table.fits`has the following four columns`RA1`

,`DEC1`

,`RA2`

,`DEC2`

. The returned column by this operator will be the difference between two points in each row with coordinates like the following (`RA1`

,`DEC1`

) and (`RA2`

,`DEC2`

). In other words, for each row, the angular distance between different points is calculated. In the second and third cases (which are identical), it is assumed that`table.fits`has the two columns`RA`

and`DEC`

. The returned column by this operator will be the difference of each row with the fixed point at (9.876, 5.432).The distance (along a great circle) on a sphere between two points is calculated with the equation below, where \(r_1\), \(r_2\), \(d_1\) and \(d_2\) are the right ascensions and declinations of points 1 and 2.

$$\cos(d)=\sin(d_1)\sin(d_2)+\cos(d_1)\cos(d_2)\cos(r_1-r_2)$$

`ra-to-degree`

Convert the hour-wise Right Ascension (RA) string, in the sexagesimal format of

`_h_m_s`

or`_:_:_`

, to degrees. Note that the input column has to have a string format. In FITS tables, string columns are well-defined. For plain-text tables, please follow the standards defined in Gnuastro text table format, otherwise the string column will not be read.$ asttable catalog.fits -c'arith RA ra-to-degree' $ asttable catalog.fits -c'arith $5 ra-to-degree'

`dec-to-degree`

Convert the sexagesimal Declination (Dec) string, in the format of

`_d_m_s`

or`_:_:_`

, to degrees (a single floating point number). For more details please see the`ra-to-degree`operator.`degree-to-ra`

¶-
Convert degrees (a column with a single floating point number) to the Right Ascension, RA, string (in the sexagesimal format hours, minutes and seconds, written as

`_h_m_s`

). The output will be a string column so no further mathematical operations can be done on it. The output file can be in any format (for example, FITS or plain-text). If it is plain-text, the string column will be written following the standards described in Gnuastro text table format. `degree-to-dec`

¶Convert degrees (a column with a single floating point number) to the Declination, Dec, string (in the format of

`_d_m_s`

). See the`degree-to-ra`for more on the format of the output.`date-to-sec`

¶-
Return the number of seconds from the Unix epoch time (00:00:00 Thursday, January 1st, 1970). The input (popped) operand should be a string column in the FITS date format (most generally:

`YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.ddd...`

).The returned operand will be named

`UNIXSEC`

(short for Unix-seconds) and will be a 64-bit, signed integer, see Numeric data types. If the input string has sub-second precision, it will be ignored because floating point numbers cannot accurately store numbers with many significant digits. To preserve sub-second precision, please use`date-to-millisec`

.For example, in the example below we are using this operator, in combination with the

`--keyvalue`option of the Fits program, to sort your desired FITS files by observation date (value in the`DATE-OBS`

keyword in example below):$ astfits *.fits --keyvalue=DATE-OBS --colinfoinstdout \ | asttable -cFILENAME,'arith DATE-OBS date-to-sec' \ --colinfoinstdout \ | asttable --sort=UNIXSEC

If you do not need to see the Unix-seconds any more, you can add a

`-cFILENAME`(short for`--column=FILENAME`) at the end. For more on`--keyvalue`, see Keyword inspection and manipulation. `date-to-millisec`

Return the number of milli-seconds from the Unix epoch time (00:00:00 Thursday, January 1st, 1970). The input (popped) operand should be a string column in the FITS date format (most generally:

`YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.ddd...`

, where`.ddd`

is the optional sub-second component).The returned operand will be named

`UNIXMILLISEC`

(short for Unix milli-seconds) and will be a 64-bit, signed integer, see Numeric data types. The returned value is not a floating point type because for large numbers, floating point data types loose single-digit precision (which is important here).Other than the units of the output, this operator behaves similarly to

`date-to-sec`

. See the description of that operator for an example.

For a list of the Gnuastro library arithmetic operators, please see the macros starting with `GAL_ARITHMETIC_OP`

and ending with the operator name in Arithmetic on datasets (`arithmetic.h`).

Next: Operation precedence in Table, Previous: Table, Up: Table [Contents][Index]

JavaScript license information

GNU Astronomy Utilities 0.19 manual, October 2022.