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The Application of the Montage Image Mosaic Engine to the Visualization of Astronomical Images

Berriman, G. Bruce and Good, J. C. (2017) The Application of the Montage Image Mosaic Engine to the Visualization of Astronomical Images. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 129 (975). Art. No. 058006. ISSN 0004-6280.

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The Montage Image Mosaic Engine was designed as a scalable toolkit, written in C for performance and portability across *nix platforms, that assembles FITS images into mosaics. This code is freely available and has been widely used in the astronomy and IT communities for research, product generation, and for developing next-generation cyber-infrastructure. Recently, it has begun finding applicability in the field of visualization. This development has come about because the toolkit design allows easy integration into scalable systems that process data for subsequent visualization in a browser or client. The toolkit it includes a visualization tool suitable for automation and for integration into Python: mViewer creates, with a single command, complex multi-color images overlaid with coordinate displays, labels, and observation footprints, and includes an adaptive image histogram equalization method that preserves the structure of a stretched image over its dynamic range. The Montage toolkit contains functionality originally developed to support the creation and management of mosaics, but which also offers value to visualization: a background rectification algorithm that reveals the faint structure in an image; and tools for creating cutout and downsampled versions of large images. Version 5 of Montage offers support for visualizing data written in HEALPix sky-tessellation scheme, and functionality for processing and organizing images to comply with the TOAST sky-tessellation scheme required for consumption by the World Wide Telescope (WWT). Four online tutorials allow readers to reproduce and extend all the visualizations presented in this paper.

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Berriman, G. Bruce0000-0001-8388-534X
Additional Information:© 2017 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2016 October 23. Accepted 2016 December 16. Published 2017 April 17. Montage is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant number ACI-1440620 and was previously funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Science Technology Office, Computation Technologies Project, under Cooperative Agreement Number NCC5-626 between NASA and the California Institute of Technology. The Galactic ALFA HI (GALFA-HI) survey data set was obtained with the Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFA) on the Arecibo 305 m telescope. Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is operated by Cornell University under cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation. The GALFA-HI surveys are funded by the NSF through grants to Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California. The authors thank the AWS SKA AstroCompute Program for the award of educational credits to support the processing of GALFA data. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. Funding for the creation and distribution of the SDSS Archive has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, and the Max Planck Society. The SDSS website is The participating institutions are The University of Chicago, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, The Johns Hopkins University, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington. We thank Dr. J. Bally and Mr. J.E. Allured for permission to quote results prior to publication. We thank Dr. B. Rusholme for his collaboration in processing the GALFA data, Dr. J. Pepper for permitting us to use the unpublished Figure 4, and Ms. Marcy Harbut for editorial assistance with the manuscript.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
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Columbia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of WisconsinUNSPECIFIED
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:975
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170419-070103174
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Official Citation:G. Bruce Berriman and J. C. Good 2017 PASP 129 058006
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:76652
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Apr 2017 16:41
Last Modified:28 Oct 2019 21:04

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