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PHOEBE 1.0 (legacy)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is PHOEBE? PHOEBE stands for PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs. It is astronomical software that helps you model eclipsing binary stars (EBs) based on photometric and spectroscopic (radial velocity) data.

How is PHOEBE pronounced? PHOEBE is pronounced fee-bee.

./configure prints the following error: C compiler cannot create executables Having a compiler (like gcc) is not enough to compile C programs, you also need a C library. If it is missing, you will experience the (somewhat obscure) error message:
configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
You may fix this by installing libc6-dev and linux-libc-dev packages. After you install them, simply rerun ./configure.

./configure prints the following error: *** PHOEBE configuration failure *** ./configure is a script that looks for installed programs and libraries needed to build and install PHOEBE. If a program or a library is missing, ./configure will write this message and stop. Here is a list of required programs and libraries to build PHOEBE.

./configure tells me that I don't have GTK installed, but I just installed it with my package manager! There may be two causes for this:
  1. You have installed a standalone library instead of the development package. GTK development package typically resembles something like libgtk2-dev or libgtk2-devel, as opposed to just libgtk2. To compile PHOEBE from source, you definitely need a development version that includes all header files; you do not need the development version if you are installing a binary (precompiled) version of PHOEBE.
  2. Your system library cache hasn't been updated. As root, run: /sbin/ldconfig If that still doesn't fix the problem, check to see whether the parent GTK installation directory (usually /usr/local/lib) is included in the library cache file /etc/ld.so.conf.

Compiling went fine, but when I try to run the scripter or the GUI, I get "error while loading shared libraries" After installing the library (phoebe-lib) for the first time, as root you should also run: /sbin/ldconfig This will update the cache with all shared libraries found in the directories specified on the command line, in the file /etc/ld.so.conf, and in the trusted directories /lib and /usr/lib. Please note that, if you installed phoebe-lib in the default directory (/usr/local/lib), you may need to add that directory to /etc/ld.so.conf and re-run ldconfig.

What packages do I need to add to a default Ubuntu installation to compile PHOEBE from sources? To install PHOEBE from sources (if you wonder why you would want to do that since binaries are available for all recent Ubuntu releases: so that you can stay current with the SVN tree), you need to install the following packages:
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0 gfortran gtk-doc-tools flex bison libgsl0-dev libglade2-dev gnuplot libreadline5-dev


I am running PHOEBE 0.2x and fonts are so large that everything is just messed up. The old PHOEBE 0.2x branch uses GTK 1.2 graphical library which has become obsolete quite some time ago. It has been obsoleted by new versions of GTK2 and most Linux distributions orient their desktop appearence to work with GTK2 as default. For legacy applications that still use GTK 1.2 users must manually set the fonts to be used. These settings must be defined in a file .gtkrc.mine in the user's home directory. If you are experiencing overflowing of labels, entries, buttons or other types of uglification that seem to be related with font sizes, create an empty ~/.gtkrc.mine file and add the following:
    style "user-font"
        {
        fontset="-adobe-helvetica-medium-r-normal-*-12-*-*-*-p-*-iso8859-1"
        }
        widget_class "*" style "user-font"
That should do the trick; restart PHOEBE and enjoy!

How do I exchange the roles of stars in PHOEBE? To swap the roles of stars in PHOEBE, the process is slightly more involved than what may seem initially. You need to be careful about the origin of the coordinate system that is set in the center of the primary star, so you cannot simply reverse the values of surface potentials. Follow these steps to exchange the roles of stars:
  1. Compute transformed potentials:
        pot1new = pot2orig/qorig + (qorig-1)/(2qorig)
        pot2new = pot1orig/qorig + (qorig-1)/(2qorig)
  2. Reverse the mass ratio:
        qnew = 1/qorig
  3. Exchange the roles of primary and secondary RV curve in the Data tab:
        RV1new = RV2orig
        RV2new = RV1orig
  4. Shift phase by 0.5:
        pshiftnew = pshiftorig +/- 0.5
  5. Shift argument of periastron by pi:
        perr0new = perr0orig +/- pi
  6. Swap all component parameters: temperatures, synchronicity parameters, passband luminosities, albedoes, gravity darkening coefficients and limb darkening coefficients:
        par1new = par2orig
        par2new = par1orig