Page MenuHomePhabricator

Add support for FITS files
Open, Needs TriagePublic


Due the interest in uploading files in FITS format, I propose to add support for it. This is a pretty popular format in astronomy, and it contains a lot of metadata.

The format was created in 1981, and its updates are released by NASA, so there should not be problems with patents and licenses.
ImageMagick (and many other libraries) supports it, so there's no problem with generating previews.

File extension: .fits, .fit and .fts.
MIME types: image/fits and application/fits.
Spec info: and

Potential issues:

  • Real files are usually large enough. For example, I have an example of 380 MB and 182 MPX. On my laptop, the generation of JPEG thumbnails takes about 6 seconds.
  • A single image can contain multiple frames. Therefore, it is desirable to make either paging output support (like PDF) or frame-by-frame animation (like GIF).

Event Timeline

I tried looking for sample FITS files and running them through ImageMagick and all of them came out black or mostly black. I seem to understand that FITS files don't necessarily contain visuals, right? Could you provide sample FITS files that are supposed to yield actual thumbnails when processed?

Peachey88 subscribed.

Due the interest in uploading files in FITS format,

Are there any links to the interest and how it would be used within MW or the WMF community of wikis?

@Peachey88 See link provided by TheDJ. There is a request to upload images of the star sky from astronomers. I do not really know the situation, I just formalized this request with a separate task.

@Gilles I'll try to upload a real example, but first I need to find out what licensing restrictions it has.

@putnik Do you need to get OTRS on this example? I can do it.