The Carina Nebula

11 Recommended Open Source Multi-Platform Astronomy Software



AstroImageJ is ImageJ with astronomy plugins and macros installed. It includes tools based on the Göttingen ImageJ astronomical resources.

AstroImageJ is streamlined for time-series differential photometry, light curve detrending and fitting, and light curve plotting, especially for applications requiring ultra-precise light curves (e.g., exoplanet transits). AstroImageJ reads and writes standard Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) files, as well as other common image formats, provides FITS header viewing and editing, and is World Coordinate System aware, including an automated interface to the web portal for plate solving images.

Features include:

  • DS9 like image display with live photometer and WCS support
  • Real-time or post-processed calibration, analysis, and plotting
  • Reads and writes FITS images with standard headers
  • FITS header handling, viewing, editing
  • Multi-image processing (bias, dark, flat, CCD non-linearity correction)
  • Multi-exposure, multi-aperture differential photometry
  • Interactive multi-curve plotting
  • Astronomical coord. conversion (J2000, EoD, equatorial, ecliptic, galactic)
  • Astronomical time conversion (UTC, local, LST, JD, HJD, BJD
  • Displays astronomical coordinates for images with WCS
  • Provides object identification via an embedded SIMBAD interface
  • Aligns image sequences using WCS headers or by using apertures to correlate stars
  • Image calibration including bias, dark, flat, and non-linearity correction with option to run in real-time
  • Interactive time-series differential photometry interface with option to run in real-time
  • Allows comparison star ensemble changes without re-running differential photometry
  • Provides an interactive multi-curve plotting tool streamlined for plotting light curves
  • Includes an interactive light curve fitting interface with simultaneous detrending
  • Allows non-destructive object annotations/labels using FITS header keywords
  • Provides a time and coordinate converter tool with capability to update/enhance FITS header content (AIRMASS, BJD, etc)
  • Exports analyses formatted as spreadsheets
  • Creates color images and with native ImageJ processing power
  • Optionally enter reference star apparent magnitudes to calculate target star magnitudes automatically
  • Optionally create Minor Planet Center (MPC) format for direct submission of data to the MPC

This application demonstrates the versatility of open source software. The developers have taken ImageJ (am image processing and analysis tool) and added astronomy plugins and macros.

Like ImageJ, AstroImageJ needs either the Sun or OpenJDK version 6 or higher of Java.

Developer: Professor John Kielkopf, Karen Collins (ImageJ is developed by Wayne Rasband)
License: GNU GPL v2. It incorporates ImageJ components which are in the public domain.
Written in: Java

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