FITS archive at NRAO  

This is an archive for the Flexible Image Transport System,
the standard data interchange and archival format
of the worldwide astronomy community.

Newcomers to the world of FITS are advised to consult
Overview of the FITS Data Format
and A Primer on the FITS Data Format.
the FITS Support Office web pages are strongly recommended.

The formal documents which define the FITS standard are

MIME media types
Draft RFC updated 2004-03-12

An ad hoc task group led by Steve Allen is developing an 'RFC' which will be used to obtain official MIME media types for FITS. The email exploder (see threads of discussion) is being used for these discussions. To subscribe to fitsmime, fill in the fields in the "Subscribing to fitsmime" section of the fitsmime web page.

WCS proposals

Work on the third FITS World Coordinates System [WCS] proposal "Representations of spectral coordinates in FITS" is nearing completion; see the links at the bottom of Eric Greisen's home-page. Mailing list is being used to facilitate WCS discussions. To subscribe to fitswcs, fill in the fields in the "Subscribing to fitswcs" section of the fitswcs web page.

Public discussion of FITS-related matters
occurs in newsgroup sci.astro.fits (see last 25 threads of discussion). A bi-directional gateway connects newsgroupsci.astro.fits to Email exploder; the traffic content of the two services is identical. To subscribe to fitsbits, fill in the fields in the "Subscribing to fitsbits" section of the fitsbits web page.

FITS material in this archive:
  • documents -- FITS-related documents
  • os-support -- code for various environments.
  • data -- FITS files, in several categories:
    • samples -- sample files from facilities/disciplines.
    • tests -- collections of FITS files for feature testing.
  • src -- FITS-related source code
    • wcs -- various World Coordinate System sources
  • traffic -- archives for FITS-related newsgroups & exploders.
  • wais-source -- searching the FITS document archive.

Other FITS archives are at:

Other FITS-related resources are at:
Don Wells (
most recent change of this page on 2004-12-02