New file format for telescope images

LCOGT have now started using a new data archive and data processing pipeline, and as a result they are packaging up the image data in a slightly different way. One outcome of this is that instead of the .fits files which we used to get from the telescopes, we are now getting .fz files. These are essentially zipped .fits files, but it's not completely straightforward to obtain the .fits from them....

There are a number of possible solutions which have been suggested to us by LCOGT to get around the problem of schools not being able to open .fz files.

The simplest way we’ve found so far is to use SAOimage DS9, as this does actually open .fz files, and then save them as .fits files for use in whatever other package you normally use (e.g. SalsaJ, Astrometrica, Makali’i etc).

To do this:

1.   1. Open the .fz file in SAO Image DS9 first and then go to File> Save

2. Choose .fits as the extension.

SAO Image DS9 can run on windows or Macs, and can be downloaded from here:

We have instructions on how to use SAO Image DS9 to view and analyse files here:

Although the above seems to work, it would be great to hear your feedback on this as we can pass any suggestions/comments etc to LCOGT. We will keep you updated once/if any more fixes to opening .fz files are developed.