Data Set: Legacy Data from Astronomical Observations

Data Author(s): McGraw, John <>; Zimmer, Pete <>;


This half-terabyte data set is comprised of four thousand plus files and primarily includes astronomical Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) raster images captured between 1984 and 1989 using an array of CCD cameras in the Albuquerque area. FITS data was captured using two different tape formats, with the only distinction being the size limitations of the files. Star positions were calculated using the included open source ‘sucac2’ ( software code to match FITS data to entries in the US Naval Observatory UCAC2 Catalog. Many applications for viewing and analyzing FITS files are freely available. For more information, visit

The primary data is in the tape directory. The data were originally recorded on magnetic tape, then migrated to hard disk. Limitations of the file system on the tapes required that each sweep be in several, usually 4, different files which should be spliced together. There are two tape formats used, citipack and exopack. The two types differ slightly, but the differences are largely irrelevant except for the naming of the files. The reproc and bias directories is included primarily for historical purposes. The reproc directory and subdirectories contain software originally used to process and analyze the data. According to Pete Zimmer there are some biases and other problems that required that the data be reanalyzed if it is to be reused. Contact Pete Zimmer with questions. The bias directory contains data used in the original analysis. The sss directory contains the original star positions generated from the reproc and bias files. Again, given the issues with the original analysis this information is included for completeness and context only.


Creative Commons License
This data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


McGraw, John; Zimmer, Peter (1989): Legacy Data from Astronomical Observations. University of New Mexico.


stationary telescope; astronomy; astronomical charts;

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