Original Article

Experimental Astronomy

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 245-282

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Sub-image data processing in Astro-WISE

  • Johnson MwebazeAffiliated withKapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen Email author 
  • , Danny BoxhoornAffiliated withKapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen
  • , John McFarlandAffiliated withKapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen
  • , Edwin A. ValentijnAffiliated withKapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen


Most often, astronomers are interested in a source (e.g., moving, variable, or extreme in some colour index) that lies on a few pixels of an image. However, the classical approach in astronomical data processing is the processing of the entire image or set of images even when the sole source of interest may exist on only a few pixels of one or a few images. This is because pipelines have been written and designed for instruments with fixed detector properties (e.g., image size, calibration frames, overscan regions, etc.). Furthermore, all metadata and processing parameters are based on an instrument or a detector. Accordingly, out of many thousands of images for a survey, this can lead to unnecessary processing of data that is both time-consuming and wasteful. We describe the architecture and an implementation of sub-image processing in Astro-WISE. The architecture enables a user to select, retrieve and process only the relevant pixels in an image where the source exists. We show that lineage data collected during the processing and analysis of datasets can be reused to perform selective reprocessing (at sub-image level) on datasets while the remainder of the dataset is untouched, a difficult process to automate without lineage.


Data lineage Provenance Astro-WISE Sub-image processing