I have written an astronomical image processing and analysis program designed to run over the internet in a Java-compatible web browser. The program, Sky Image Processor (SIP), is accessible at the SIP webpage (http://www.phys.vt.edu/SIP). Since nothing is installed on the user's machine, there is no need to download upgrades; the latest version of the program is always instantly available. Furthermore, the Java programming language is designed to work on any computer platform (any machine and operating system). The program could be used with students in web-based instruction or in a computer laboratory setting; it may also be of use in some research or outreach applications. While SIP is similar to other image processing programs, it is unique in some important respects. For example, SIP can load images from the user's machine or from the Web. An instructor can put images on a web server for students to load and analyze on their own personal computer. Or, the instructor can inform the students of images to load from any other web server. Furthermore, since SIP was written with students in mind, the philosophy is to present the user with the most basic tools necessary to process and analyze astronomical images. Images can be combined (by addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division), multiplied by a constant, smoothed, cropped, flipped, rotated, and so on. Statistics can be gathered for pixels within a box drawn by the user. Basic tools are available for gathering data from an image which can be used for performing simple differential photometry, or astrometry. Therefore, students can learn how astronomical image processing works. Since SIP is not part of a commercial CCD camera package, the program is written to handle the most common denominator image file, the FITS format.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1999