FITS Resources

The Flexible Image Transport System, or FITS, is the format adopted by the astronomical community for data interchange and archival storage. The basic WWW sources of information on FITS are

World Cordinate Information

  • NRAO WCS info some of the older documents are also important since they describe the "pre-standard" keywords that exists in lots of data already.
  • IRAF description of the various image descriptors The decribes the relationship between 4 subtely different Pixel cordinate schemes: CCD cordinates, Amplifier cordinates, Image cordinates and Detector cordinates AND the define coordinate transformations between the CCD coordinates and the other three. [A sick bag is not provided]

    FITS software

  • FITSIO Fortran and C Libraries [ Leicester Mirror ]
  • FTOOLS: suite of applications that work on FITs files includes fverify; a FITs file verification tool [ Leicester Mirror ]
  • Some standalone FITS applications from ESO; These need no libraries. eg dfits: pipes FITS headers on stdout
  • ESO FITS Translation Utility includes the ability to add extra keywords and to add datamin, max etc
  • Eclipse: package for optical and IR data reduction eg stcube -m computes the median
  • IDL resources
  • Perl module

    Year 2000 compliance for FITS

    [copied from the NOST WWW page]

    Redefinition of DATE-OBS keyword encompassing the millenium

    On November 10, the IAU FITS Working Group approved a definition for the format of the value field of DATE-OBS and other keywords beginning with the string DATE that contain date and possible time information. This format provides four digits for the year number, thus providing an explicit specification of the century in all dates.

    Various FITS related documents

    Richard G. McMahon <>
    Last modified: Fri Jun 30 12:17:27 2000