Solar physics

Metadata Standards

FITS - Flexible Image Transport System

Used by the astronomy community to originally describe telescope images, but is now a family of standards to describe multi-dimensional data including spatial, spectral and temporal dimensions and the scaling and distortions that may be present.

SPASE Data Model

An information model for describing the elements of the heliophysics data environment.


FITS World Coordinate System (WCS)

An extension of FITS that enables data to be defined to specify physical, or world coordinates within each pixel in an image. The conventions were orignally proposed in 2002 then incorporated into the 3.0 release of the FITS standard.

IMPEx Data Model

A simulation extention to the SPASE data model.


FITS Image Software Packages
Software packages that display or manipulate the relatively simple class of FITS data files that containing 2-dimensional images
SPASE Metadata Editor

A web-based editor for generating SPASE descriptions.


The SPASE website's list of tools for working with SPASE metadata and the SPASE framework.

Use Cases

IVOA - International Virtual Observatory Alliance

The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) is an organisation that debates and agrees to technical standards that are needed to make the Virtual Observatory possible. FITS is one of those standards.


The National Space Science Data Center's registry of SPASE-described space science mission data.

SPASE Inside

The SPASE website's list of systems that use SPASE compliant metadata to enable search services.

STEREO Science Center

Archive for STEREO telemetry, mission support data, and higher level instrument data and analysis software.

Virtual Solar Observatory