ann0607 — Announcement

ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator v. 2.1 released

20 November 2006

Today, an updated version of the popular ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator image processing software has been released. Version 2.1 has been enhanced with several key improvements that will offer a wide range of new possibilities and make it easier to produce colour images from telescopes in space and on the ground.

In July 2004, a team of imaging scientists from the European Space Agency, the European Southern Observatory and NASA, released the first version of the FITS Liberator plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. This first comprehensive import plug-in for Adobe Photoshop allowed for direct access to the astronomical FITS data, a scientific file format employed by most observatories.

The first version of the FITS Liberator brought non-professional astronomers the possibility to produce stunning astronomical images that, for years, had only been the privilege of the scientific community.

With the advent of the FITS Liberator v.2, it became possible for people at home to create even more spectacular pictures like the iconic Hubble image "Pillars of Creation" in a matter of minutes.

Today, an updated version of the popular software containing new scaling and stretching tools to better manipulate astronomical images has been released. Another key update is the ability for users to embed descriptive information about the image and what it shows, so-called metadata, directly within the final image. Based on a new standard for Astronomy Visualization Metadata, this information is stored in the standard manner like that used by digital cameras to record exposure information.

The FITS Liberator is freely available for download from:

Version 2.1 of The ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator has been improved in several areas, some of which are:

  • Update of Metadata Support to Astronomy Visualization Metadata version 1.0 standard.
  • Advanced stretching and scaling functions.
  • Support for Adobe Bridge added.
  • Significant speed improvements on Mac OS X.
  • Minor bug fixes.
  • New Extras
    • The ESA/ESO/NASA WFPC2 Mosaicator: This new add-on tool works on Hubble WFPC2 images. It will generate a single WFPC2 mosaic'ed file from one WFPC2 file containing four CCD images in individual planes.
    • The ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Concatenator: This Adobe Photoshop script will combine the metadata from two or more individual exposures after the FITS Liberation process.


Notes for editors

Development Team
Project Lead: Lars Lindberg Christensen (
Development Lead: Lars Holm Nielsen
Core Functionality: Kaspar K. Nielsen
Engine and GUI: Teis Johansen
Scientific support: Robert Hurt

The ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator uses NASA's CFITSIO library, TinyXML and Boost C++ Libraries .

Adobe and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

We kindly ask users to acknowledge the use of this plug-in in publicly accessible products (web, articles, books etc.) with the following statement: "This image was created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator".


Download FITS Liberator 2.1
More information about FITS
More about the Astronomy Visualization Metadata standard


Lars Lindberg Christensen (Project Lead)
Hubble/ESA, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49-89-3200-6306
Cellular: +49-173-3872-621

Robert L. Hurt (Scientific support)
Spitzer Science Center, IPAC
Caltech, Pasadena, California
Tel: +1-626-395-1825

Lars Holm Nielsen
Tel: +45-32¦88-6428
Cellular: +45-2215-5180

About the Announcement



ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator v. 2.1 released
ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator v. 2.1 released

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