Astronomical Digital Content

Leadership course at MIT, July 2014

New Tool to Discover Cosmic Jewels

New Tool to Discover Cosmic Jewels

Astronomy visualization tool gets an important update

Computer Scientists from Enciso Systems/BitPointer and international partners developed the latest version of FITS Liberator, a visualization tool that enables graphics experts to produce the most beautiful astronomical images. From now on, the entire astronomy visualization community can use FITS Liberator on 64-bit based operating systems, taking advantage of current computational power to elaborate astounding visuals.

An international collaboration between NSF’s NOIRLab, the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC Caltech), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) ended up with the release of FITS Liberator 4. Thanks to team [1], the astronomy community can enjoy the freely-available software tool to reveal graphical jewels hidden under mountains of raw data. 

FITS Liberator takes raw files in FITS format [2], then through a series of transformations, it produces images in TIF format. Finally, image experts take the TIF images in their favorite image processing tool to combine layers and enhance colors. The result is the astronomy digital masterpieces we know and love. Also it is an incredible resource for education in astronomy.

FITS Liberator is a fundamental tool for the development of academic and research activities at undergraduate and graduate levels at our institution” explains Professor Mario Higuera director of the National Astronomical Observatory at the National University of Colombia. 

FITS Liberator 4 is open source [3], and the software community is welcome to contribute. FITS Liberator repositories include a Command Line Interface (CLI) and a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

In addition to the source code, there are plenty of resources for the public to embark in the quest for cosmic treasures [4]. They are out there, don’t miss the opportunity to explore our universe.

Notes

[1] FITS Liberator 4 team: Juan Fajardo (Enciso Systems/BitPointer), David Zambrano Lizarazo (Enciso Systems/BitPointer), Javier Enciso (Enciso Systems), Robert Hurt (IPAC Caltech), Travis Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), Kimberly Kowal Arcand (CfA), Peter Edmonds (CfA), Nancy Wolk (CfA), Joseph Depasquale (STScI), Davide de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab), Mahdi Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab), and Lars Lindberg Christensen (NSF’s NOIRLab).

[2] FITS stands for Flexible Image Transport System, a structured image format developed by the International Astronomical Union in 1981.

[3] FITS Liberator 4 is distributed under BSD-3 Clause license.

[4] AstroViz YouTube Channel includes several resources for the public.

Links

More information

BitPonter

BitPointer an IT Consulting company located at Colombia. They develop software solutions, install, configure, maintain and provide support on servers using Unix-like operating systems like GNU/Linux, BSD and others.

Enciso Systems

Enciso Systems provides content support and software development services to preeminent scientific organizations in Europe, North America, and East Asia.

Contacts

Press Information Office
Enciso Systems
Tel: + 57 (8) 678 2084
Cel: +57 320 880 8381
Email: info@encisosystems.com

Juan Fajardo
CEO
BitPointer
Cell: +57 300 610 4615
Email: jfajardo@bitpointer.co