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Proceedings Paper

A next-generation open-source toolkit for FITS file image viewing
Author(s): Eric Jeschke; Takeshi Inagaki; Russell Kackley
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Paper Abstract

The astronomical community has a long tradition of sharing and collaborating on FITS file tools, including viewers. Several excellent viewers such as DS9 and Skycat have been successfully reused again and again. Yet this "first generation" of viewers predate the emergence of a new class of powerful object-oriented scripting languages such as Python, which has quickly become a very popular language for astronomical (and general scientific) use. Integration and extension of these viewers by Python is cumbersome. Furthermore, these viewers are also built on older widget toolkits such as Tcl/Tk, which are becoming increasingly difficult to support and extend as time passes. Suburu Telescope's second-generation observation control system (Gen2) is built on a a foundation of Python-based technologies and leverages several important astronomically useful packages such as numpy and pyfits. We have written a new flexible core widget for viewing FITS files which is available in versions for both the modern Gtk and Qt-based desktops. The widget offers seamless integration with pyfits and numpy arrays of FITS data. A full-featured viewer based on this widget has been developed, and supports a plug-in architecture in which new features can be added by scripting simple Python modules. In this paper we will describe and demonstrate the capabilities of the new widget and viewer and discuss the architecture of the software which allows new features and widgets to easily developed by subclassing a powerful abstract base class. The software will be released as open-source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8451, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II, 845102 (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924930
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Jeschke, Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)
Takeshi Inagaki, Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)
Russell Kackley, Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8451:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II
Nicole M. Radziwill; Gianluca Chiozzi, Editor(s)

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