ESO stand-alone FITS routines

I recently came across a nice simple way to access FITS header keywords at the command line via the “Stand-alone FITS tools” provided by ESO. The combination of dfits and fitsort work like the IRAF hselect routine, but they are run at the command line and therefore have access to all of the shell tools like grep.

To install:

cd /tmp/   ### or anywhere else
mkdir ESOFITS
cd ESOFITS
wget http://archive.eso.org/saft/dfits/dfits.c
wget http://archive.eso.org/saft/fitsort/fitsort.c
gcc -o dfits dfits.c
gcc -o fitsort fitsort.c
sudo cp dfits fitsort /usr/local/bin    ### or somewhere else in your $PATH

Now you can run it with, e.g.,

dfits f140w.fits | fitsort NAXIS1 NAXIS2 EXPTIME
   FILE         	NAXIS1	NAXIS2	EXPTIME        	
   f140w.fits	   7017  	   8361  	4.058728020E+03

Note that dfits also works with wildcards, e.g. dfits ib*flt.fits | fitsort FILTER.

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2 Responses to ESO stand-alone FITS routines

  1. Gus says:

    wcstool’s gethead does all this in one command with lots of useful formatting options.

    http://tdc-www.harvard.edu/wcstools/
    http://tdc-www.harvard.edu/software/wcstools/gethead.ex.html

    • gbb says:

      Yes, gethead also seems to do a good job at this. One benefit of the ESO tools is that they recognize the ESO “HIERARCH” keywords:

      dfits HAWKI_IMG_OBS_AutoJitter291_0001.fits |fitsort DET.DIT
      FILE DET.DIT
      RAW/JITTER/HAWKI_IMG_OBS_AutoJitter291_0001.fits 300.0000000

      vs.

      gethead HAWKI_IMG_OBS_AutoJitter291_0001.fits DET.DIT
      [nothing found]

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