A format for the interchange of astronomical images and other digital arrays on magnetic tape is described. This format provides a simple but powerful mechanism for the unambiguous transmission of n-dimensional, regularly spaced data arrays. It also provides a method for the transmission of a virtually unlimited number of auxiliary parameters that may be associated with the image. The parameters are written in a form which is easily interpreted by both humans and computers. The FITS format has been adopted for the transmission of astronomical image data by several large observatories including the Very Large Array, the Westerbork synthesis telescope, the Kitt Peak Observatory and the Anglo-Australian Observatory.
Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series
- Pub Date:
- June 1981