FITS (Flexible Image Transport System)

FITS is an image data file format for encoding astronomical data. The WCS (World Coordinate System) conventions map elements in data arrays to standard physical coordinates in the sky. FITS has provisions for image metadata encoded in an ASCII header at the beginning of files.

Summary Edit

Standard Website
Physical Sciences & Mathematics
Solar physics

Extensions Add

FITS World Coordinate System (WCS) Edit

An extension of FITS that enables data to be defined to specify physical, or world coordinates within each pixel in an image. The conventions were orignally proposed in 2002 then incorporated into the 3.0 release of the FITS standard.

Tools Add

FITS Image Software Packages Edit

Use Cases Add

BAV (Biblioteca Apoltolica Vaticana) Edit

The Vatican Library uses FITS as the digital image format for the digitization of its manuscript collection.

ESA (European Space Agency) Edit

ESA is an international organisation with 20 Member States that coordinates the financial and intellectual resources of it's members to facilitate space related programmes and activities. Image data is released using FITS for many missions.


The High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) is the primary archive for NASA's (and other space agencies') missions dealing with electromagnetic radiation from extremely energetic phenomena ranging from black holes to the Big Bang.

IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance) Edit

The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) is an organisation that debates and agrees to technical standards that are needed to make the Virtual Observatory possible. FITS is one of those standards.

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Edit

Japan's independent administrative institution that handles research and development in space and aviation areas.

STEREO Science Center Edit

Archive for STEREO telemetry, mission support data, and higher level instrument data and analysis software.

Virtual Solar Observatory Edit