SAOImage DS9 , a Tcl/Tk program that uses the SAOTk widget set, is an astronomical imaging and data visualization application. DS9 supports FITS images and binary tables, multiple frame buffers, region manipulation, and many scale algorithms and colormaps. It provides for easy communication with external analysis tasks and is highly configurable and extensible via XPA and SAMP.
SAOImage DS9 is a data visualization, analysis and imaging application used by professional astronomers. It is actively developed at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and is released under an open-source licence (GPL v3). It is written entirely in Tcl/Tk (with several binary and script extensions).
The Development of SAOImage DS9 , William Joye, Eric Mandel, 2004-10-27, gives an interesting outline of the problems of developing and maintaining scientific software
Note the commitment to Tcl/Tk and to open software development.
Also note the size of the datasets - typically hundreds of Mb for a single observation, but 19Gb for "megasec" exposures from the Chandra X-ray satellite
False Color Images
You will need some FITS images to use DS9.
DS9 can be used as a graphical frontend for other image analysis/processing software:
TkBLT 3.0: derived version of BLT, for Tcl/Tk 8.6, TEA compatible, full support for MacOSX and Windows. (BSD license). Now available at Sourceforge
TkMPEG 1.0: TEA compatible, MPEG 1 encoder. (GPL v2)
XPA 2.1.14: XPA is messaging system that provides a unified communication system between different kinds of Unix programs, including X programs, Tcl/Tk programs, and shell programs. It uses TCP as its transport layer. (LGPL)
DS9 also stands for Deep Space 9. The High Energy Astrophysics Division of SAO has a preoccupation with things Star Trek. Its second generation image display was named TNG and the third is DS9.
The Development of SAOImage DS9: Lessons Learned from a Small but Successful Software Project : W. Joye, E. Mandel, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV, ASP Conference Series, Vol. 347, 2005
New User Requirements for Astronomical Data Visualization : W. Joye, E. Mandel, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIII, ASP Conference Series, Vol. 314, 2004
New Features of SAOImage DS9 : W. Joye, E. Mandel, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XII, ASP Conference Series, Vol. 295, 2003
SAOTk and TclXPA: Tcl/Tk Extensions for Astronomy : W. Joye, E. Mandel, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IX, ASP Conference Series, Vol. 206, 2000
SAOTk: Tcl/Tk Widgets for Imaging and Data Visualization : W. Joye, E. Mandel, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VIII ASP Conference Series, Vol. 172, 1999