The Starlink Project was a long running UK Project supporting astronomical data processing. It was shut down in 2005 but the software continued to be developed at the Joint Astronomy Centre until March 2015, and is now maintained by the East Asian Observatory. The code is open source.
Starlink News was last updated August 10th 2017.
Getting the Software
Please note that there was a leap second at the end of December 2016; data taken since then will be gridded wrongly by all releases prior to 2016A. Please use 2017A (or 2016A, or a development rsync version) to reduce JCMT data taken from this point onwards.
For a cutting edge version, you can rsync from the East Asian Observatory's build.
Citing the software
If you have used Starlink software in your research, please cite the software in your papers.
For the Starlink software package please use:
Starlink citation: Currie et al 2014 2014ASPC..485..391C
- Starlink acknowledgment: “The Starlink software (Currie et al 2014) is currently supported by the East Asian Observatory.”
All of the individual packages are on the Astronomy Source Code Library, which have entries in ADS and can be cited in major astronomy journals. If a package has no other reference, please cite the ASCL entry. The following packages have a preferred reference you should use instead or as well as the ASCL entry (links are to the ADS record for the reference):
SMURF: For makemap (SCUBA-2 DR) please cite http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013MNRAS.430.2545C
For makecube (heterodyne/ACSIS DR) please cite http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015MNRAS.453...73J
Berry, D S 2015 "FellWalker-A clump identification algorithm" in Astronomy and Computing
SPLAT-VO ascl:1402.007 prefers 2014A&C.....7..108S
- SPLAT: ascl:1402.008
SURF: ascl:1403.008 prefers http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998ASPC..145..216J
AST: ascl:1404.016 prefers http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016A&C....15...33B
SLALIB: ascl:1403.025 prefers http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994ASPC...61..481W
In addition, all Starlink SUNs also have bibliographic records on ADS.
The original Starlink web site has been mothballed but additional support can be found:
For questions about JCMT data reduction please see the JCMT help desk
For other questions about any of the Starlink software (e.g. installation issues, software bugs or other errors) please use the Starlink support mailing list
There is also information on the Starlink wikipedia entry.
Support Pages for Starlink Applications and Libraries
Some Starlink applications and libraries have associated support pages:
Developing and Building the software
The source code is freely available. Development and build questions can be asked on the Starlink development mailing list
The source code is directly available from a Git source code repository. Download the source code:
% git clone git://github.com/Starlink/starlink.git
or (much slower but may work with some firewalls)
% git clone https://github.com/Starlink/starlink.git
You can download Git from its home page. A Git primer is available along with the Starlink Git development policies. The bulk of the collection is distributed under the GNU Public Licence, and the remainder under the old Starlink Licence.
The README file in the top level of the source code contains instructions for building. Please also see Building Starlink on OSX for some OSX tips (including a build script and list of dependencies).
Refer to the code in individual packages for more information.
We are trying to write new code in C rather than Fortran since this gives us much more flexibility in terms of threading and compilers. If you are a Fortran programmer familiar with Starlink programming some useful hints are available.
Primarily for local consumption, we also have a list of steps to take when making a release.
If you are interested in the history of Starlink there is a lot of documentation available.
The Starlink Bulletin was published between January 1988 and August 2004.
The Starlink Chronicle logged notable events and staff changes.
The former Atlas laboratory has a photographic record of the early days of its Starlink node, and of the Starlink inauguration. There is also an overview and summary of the genesis of Starlink.