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An astronomical (FITS) image viewer and toolkit.

Project description


Ginga is a viewer for astronomical data FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) files.

The Ginga viewer centers around a new FITS display widget which supports zooming and panning, color and intensity mapping, a choice of several automatic cut levels algorithms and canvases for plotting scalable geometric forms. In addition to this widget, the fits viewer provides a flexible plugin framework for extending the viewer with many different features. A fairly complete set of “standard” plugins are provided for features that we expect from a modern viewer: panning and zooming windows, star catalog access, cuts, star pick/fwhm, thumbnails, etc.


Ginga uses a standard distutils based install, e.g.

$ python build


$ python install

The program can then be run using the command “ginga”

For further information please see the file ginga/doc/INSTALL.txt


You can find copies of a PDF manual online at

Also look in ginga/doc/manual


See scripts/example{1,2} and scripts/example{1,2} . There is more information for developers in the manual.


“Ginga” is the romanized spelling of the Japanese word “銀河” (hiragana: ぎんが), meaning “galaxy” (in general) and, more familiarly, the Milky Way. This viewer was written by software engineers at Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan–thus the connection.


Ginga the viewer may be pronounced “ging-ga” (proper japanese) or “jing-ga” (perhaps easier for western tongues). The latter pronunciation has meaning in the Brazilian dance/martial art capoeira: a fundamental rocking or back and forth swinging motion.

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