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Paper: Three Tools to Aid Visualisation of FITS Files for Astronomy
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 465
Authors: Mohan, P.; Hawkins, C.; Klapaukh, R.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.
Abstract: Increasingly there is a need to develop astronomical visualisation and manipulation tools which allow viewers to interact with displayed data directly, in real time and across a range of platforms. In addition, increases in dynamic range available for astronomical images with next generation telescopes have led to a desire to develop enhanced visualisations capable of presenting information across a wide range of intensities. This paper describes three new tools for astronomical visualisation and image manipulation that are the result of a collaboration between software engineers and radio astronomers. The first tool, FITS3D, is a fast, interactive 3D data cube viewer designed to allow real-time interactive comparisons of multiple spectral line data cubes simultaneously. It features region specific selection manipulation including smoothing. The second tool, FITS2D, aids the visualisation and manipulation of 2D fits images. The tool supports the interactive creation of free-form masks which allow the user to extract any (potentially non-contiguous) subset of a fits image. It also supports annotations which can be placed without affecting the underlying data. The final tool is an R package for applying high dynamic range compression techniques to 2D fits images. This allows the full range of pixel brightness to be imaged in a single image, simultaneously showing the detail in bright sources while preserving the distinction of faint sources. Here we will present these three tools and demonstrate their capability using images from a range of astronomical images.
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