Volume 524, December 2010
|Number of page(s)||40|
|Published online||22 November 2010|
Definition of the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS), version 3.0
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 662, Greenbelt, MD
2 INAF – IASF Milano, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milan, Italy
3 Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Univ. of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
4 National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Accepted: 11 August 2010
The Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) has been used by astronomers for over 30 years as a data interchange and archiving format; FITS files are now handled by a wide range of astronomical software packages. Since the FITS format definition document (the “standard”) was last printed in this journal in 2001, several new features have been developed and standardized, notably support for 64-bit integers in images and tables, variable-length arrays in tables, and new world coordinate system conventions which provide a mapping from an element in a data array to a physical coordinate on the sky or within a spectrum. The FITS Working Group of the International Astronomical Union has therefore produced this new version 3.0 of the FITS standard, which is provided here in its entirety. In addition to describing the new features in FITS, numerous editorial changes were made to the previous version to clarify and reorganize many of the sections. Also included are some appendices which are not formally part of the standard. The FITS standard is likely to undergo further evolution, in which case the latest version may be found on the FITS Support Office Web site at http://fits.gsfc.nasa.gov/, which also provides many links to FITS-related resources.
Key words: instrumentation: miscellaneous / methods: miscellaneous / techniques: miscellaneous / reference systems / standards / astronomical databases: miscellaneous
© ESO, 2010
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