News about AIP4WIN

Forums Photometry News about AIP4WIN

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    David Boyd

    I have been asking Richard Berry for some time now about the future of the popular photometry software AIP4WIN. This was distributed on a CD in the back of the book Handbook of Astronomical Image processing by Berry and Burnell. The book has been out of print for some time and as a result the software has no longer been available. I have recently received the following message from Richard which explains the current situation.

    “Hello David

    AIP4Win and the Handbook will be back in a few months.

    The hardcover edition went out of print, and the economics are such that the publisher felt he could not print again without some new attraction for buyers, such as a new revised and expanded third edition. Realistically, it will take me more than a year to update this 700-page book, so we were at odds. The publisher thought it would not take so long, maybe a couple months.

    However, we’ve reached a solution: he will print a paperback HAIP2, 4th printing, and sell AIP4Win separately on the side. The total cost will be lower than the old hardcover-with-code-included edition. The publisher is also concerned that hackers are stealing AIP4Win, so he’s going to add some additional security to the existing code.

    In the meantime, I will undertake the editing and creation of a third edition, revised and expanded, with all the best new goodies.


    David Boyd

    Gary Poyner

    Many thanks for that David.  A ‘software’ only option will be most welcome.


    Grant Privett

    Am curious.

    What is it people generally use AIP4WIN for?

    Which parts of the image/data process is it seen as essential for?

    There are obviously alternatives for much of what it does.

    James Screech


    It is used quite a bit for photometry, the variable star section has a spreadsheet that can read an analyse the output from it and convert it into a format suitable for submission to the BAA VSS database.

    Eric Watkins

    I can’t get it to work with windows 10, though I have tried the various fixes propo

    Hopefully any new versions will not need fixes. I expect it’s me and my limited computer skills.


    David Bennett

    Just starting out on Photometry and learning using a Nikon with a wide field lens on tripod.  Exposures can be short enough for Betelgeuse and Algol as targets.   Would like to know what’s the best application for DSLR photometry?   I have been following AAVSO documents and used IRIS. Got as far as instrumental magnitudes but now want to convert to visual.  I see talk on spreadsheets for this last step but can’t find a location to download a copy? Other applications mentioned and would consider trying them out if better than IRIS. Suggestions welcomed. Thanks.

    Jeremy Shears

    Hello David,

    Good to hear about your interest in DSLR photometry of variable stars. One major application of this technique is in the observation of Eclipsing Binary (EB) stars, especially to measure their times of minimum accurately. The Variable Star Section’s EB Secretary is Des Loughney, so a good place to start is Des’s Journal paper on the subject. Des also contributed to the AAVSO handbook on DSLR photometry, so do contact him if you need to know more. He has a column in every VSS Circular, the latest of which is here (also includes his contact details).

    Also, do have a look at James Screech’s members page as it has many examples of DSLR observations.

    Hope this helps. And good luck with your DSLR photometry.


    James Screech

    Hi David,

    I use C-MUNIPACK ( for DSLR (and CCD) photometry. The help isn’t very good but it will output to the BAA VSS format. If you process a lot of files (1000+) at once, for example doing a time series of a eclipsing binary minimum, be prepared for it to take a while. On my old laptop it can take a hours, only to find that I need to tweek a setting and start again.


    David Bennett

    Thanks for your tips Jeremy.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    I have been using APT (Aperture Photometry Tool) by Russ Laher for all my VS work.  It is free, as in both speech and beer, and platform-neutral because it is wrotten in Java. Russ is on the IPAC team and has produced a very fine program. He is responsive to bug reports and feature requests, a few of which I have made.

    APT produces output in its own TBL format (basically TSV with an initial couple of comment lines and another at the end) which it can export to CSV for loading into any standard spreadsheet. One nice feature of APT is that one FITS card can be exported  into a CSV column — I use it to record for either JD or HJD according to what is desired for later analysis — as well as the complete FITS header where it is readily available for subsequent processing.

    Converting the CSV into a BAA-VSS TSV-format file is easy enough and I will happily provide my script on request. The script uses ensemble photometry to produce an instrumental zero point magnitude from a list of (magnitude, error) pairs for the sequence members and then propagates errors appropriately to the derived magnitude of the VS.

    I have another script which take an AAVSO VSP photometry web page and generates the correct source list and sequence data files for APT and the script noted above respectively. Naturally this script is also freely available.

    David Boyd

    Hi James,

    I have heard nothing more from Richard Berry about availability of AIP4WIN. The stumbling block seems to be the attitude of the owner of Willmann-Bell Perry Remaklas. I have also used AstroImageJ and confirmed that it gives the same results as AIP4WIN but I find it a bit awkward to use just for photometry.

    AIP4WIN does run successfully on Windows 10 if you follow the instructions and remove all previous versions first.


    James Screech

    I have used AIP4WIN, but have found it unstable (it would crash if processing more than a few hundred images at a time), and the attitude of it’s developers is that they weren’t interested in fixing the problems. They considered the BAA VSS spreadsheet workflow used an obsolete part of AIP4WIN when I contacted them about it. If I were you I would stick with something else, AstroImageJ, CMuniPack or I understand ASTAP does photometry though I’ve heard no report of how good it is.


    Derek Robson

    I have AIP4WIN and the great book. I’ve not used it on W10 (a laptop auto upgraded from prev Win versions; and a desk top with W10 Pro).  I’ll give it a go and see how it installs. 

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