I am one of the developers and testers of the software MADCUBA, a package to visualize and analyze astronomical datacubes and multiple spectra.


MAdrid Data CUBe Analysis (MADCUBA)

MADCUBA is an software developed in the Center of Astrobiology of Madrid (CSIC-INTA) to analyze astronomical datacubes and multiple spectra from the main astronomical facilities (ALMA, Herschel, VLA, NOEMA, IRAM 30m, APEX, GBT, Effelberg...)

The current telescopes, and in particular ALMA, generate extremely large datacubes (spatial, spectral and polarization). To derive the physical conditions of the molecular gas, its chemical complexity and the kinematics from the cubes, we need a powerful analysis tool able to extract easily and efficintly the information from the datacubes.

MADCUBA has been designed to combine an user friendly interface and a powerful data analysis system. It is able to deal with large datacubes and provide the tools needed to interpret and analize the data.

MADCUBA is an open software. You can download the package here.

MADCUBA allow the user to:

  • VISUALISATION: Visualize astronomical datacubes with thousands on spectral channels, and datasets with thousands of spectra (mutiwavelegth spectral surveys, surveys towards multiple sources...).

  • ANALYSIS: the user can interactively analyze spectral datacubes in a very efficient way. Some examples of the capabilities are:
    • Spectral datacubes: measure of fluxes and statistics (e.g. RMS), extraction of spectra of particular regions of multiple syncronized datacubes, integrated maps of line transitions...
    • Reduction of spectra: baselines, average, smoothing, edit of spectral channels, gaussian fits...

  • IDENTIFICATION OF MOLECULAR SPECIES: MADCUBA uses the publicy available molecular catalogs (CDMS, NASA-JPL, Lovas...) and produces synthetic spectra assuming Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE) conditions, taking into account the line opacity in the calculations. The molecular catalog is updated weekly, and it also allow the user to upload new molecules easily. The MADCUBA tool SLIM allow the user to generate LTE spectra of multiple molecules at the same time and compare them with the astronomical observations.

  • DERIVATION OF MOLECULAR PARAMETERS: The powerful SLIM-AUTOFIT engine is able to derive automaticaly the physical parameters of the molecular species: column density, excitation temperature, velocity and linewitds. The AUTOFIT tool provides the best non-linear least-squared fit using the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm.

  • EXTENSIBILITY: MADCUBA is built using the ImageJ infrastructure, which is an open source highly extensible image program designed for scientific multidimensional images. ImageJ includes thousands of plugins and scripts for performing a wide variety of tark and a large user community. The user can create his/her own scripts and include them into MADCUBA very easily.

Scientific publications using MADCUBA


  • R. Rizzo, B. Tercero, J. Cernicharo, "A spectroscopic survey of Orion KL between 41.5 and 50 GHz", 2017, A&A, 605, 76

  • R. Martin-Domenech (co-led), V. M. Rivilla (co-led), I. Jimenez-Serra, D. Quenard, L. Testi, J. Martin-Pintado, "Detection of methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO) in a solar-type protostar", 2017, MNRAS, 469, 2230, arXiv:1701.04376,

  • S. Zahorecz, I. Jimenez-Serra, L. Testi, K. Immer, F. Fontani, P. Caselli, K. Wang, L. V. Toth, "Gas versus solid-phase deuterated chemistry: HDCO and D2CO in massive star-forming regions", 2017, A&A, 602, 3

  • V. M. Rivilla, M. T. Beltran, J. Martin-Pintado, F. Fontani, P. Caselli, R. Cesaroni, "On the chemical ladder of esters. Detection and formation of ethyl formate in the W51 e2 hot molecular core", 2017, A&A, 599, 26, arXiv:1611.00719,

  • V. M. Rivilla, M. T. Beltran, R. Cesaroni, F. Fontani, C. Codella, Q. Zhang, "Formation of ethylene glycol and other complex organic molecules in star-forming regions", 2017, A&A, 598, 59, arXiv:1608.07491,


  • I. Jimenez-Serra, A. Vasyunin, P. Caselli, N. Marcelino, N. Billot, S. Viti, L. Testi, C. Vastel, B. Lefloch, R. Bachiller, "The spatial distribution of complex organic molecules in the L544 prestellar core", 2016, ApJ, 830, 6

  • V. M. Rivilla, F. Fontani, M. T. Beltran, A. Vasyunin, P. Caselli, J. Martin-Pintado, R. Cesaroni, "The first detections of the key prebiotic molecule PO towards star-forming regions", 2016, ApJ, 826, 161, arXiv:1605.06109,

  • F. Fontani, V. M. Rivilla, P. Caselli, A. Palau, "Phosphorus-bearing molecules in massive dense cores", 2016, ApJ, 822, 30, arXiv:1604.02565,


  • S. Martin, K. Kohno, T. Izumi et al., "Multimolecule ALMA observations toward the Syfert 1 galaxy NGC 1097", 2015, A&A, 573, 116

  • R. Aladro, S. Martin, D. Riquelme et al., "Lambda=3 mm line survey of nearby active galaxies", 2015, A&A, 579, 101


  • S. Martin, L. Verdes-Montenegro, R. Aladro, D. Espada, M. Argudo-Fernandez, C. Kramer, T. C. Scott, "Chemistry in isolation: High CCH/HCO+ line ratio in the AMIGA galaxy CIG 638", 2014, A&A, 563, 6

Contact me by Email

Víctor M. Rivilla