Finder Chart: FAQs

Do you have any tutorial videos?
Yes. The IRSA YouTube channel has several tutorials that are relevant to the Finder Chart service -- see the Finder Chart playlist as well as the set of "micro-tutorials" relevant for more than one archive. The videos are in HD; you may need to manually use the YouTube gear menu to force it to realize this. There is also English Closed-Captioning available.

I have a bunch of targets and I want to get all the images for these targets. Can I do this?
You can give it a list of sources, up to 1000 sources, and it will go away and think about it and load them all into the browser. You can customize the stretch, color table, etc. You can then ask it to prepare the download for you, and when it's done, if you want, mail you a list of URLs to download the data.

Is there a way to interact with Finder Chart from the command line or a script?
Yes. There are three approaches that might meet your needs.
  1. You can give it a list of sources, up to 1000 sources, and it will go away and think about it and load them all into the browser. You can then ask it to prepare the download and when it's done, if you want, mail you a list of URLs to download the data.
  2. You can construct a URL that, when loaded, results in the interactive web-based user interface, with files pre-loaded.
  3. You can use the application programming interface (API) to obtain the files you want.

Wow, this is awesome, but I also want to get Spitzer images, like from the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products. When will that happen?
We want this too. It's on the to-do list. In the meantime, you can use the SHA or the Cutouts Server to get Spitzer images.

How come some of the 2MASS images are not "whole images", like it's trying to center on my target but half the image is missing as if it's going off the edge of an image?
It is actually running off the edges of the relatively small images we have in the 2MASS image archive. We are working on getting larger images such that this 'edge effect' will happen less often and for fewer targets.

I've retrieved a catalog. What are all these columns?
The columns that are returned are exactly those that are stored in the archive for that catalog. Each catalog is different. Please check the project's documentation for each catalog separately, all of which are available at IRSA. Some of the more commonly used ones are:

I've created a nice image within the FITS viewer, and I have the stretch and overlays exactly the way that I want them. How do I save this?
Click on the diskette icon and tell it to save the PNG file. If you just save the FITS file, you will lose the overlays, and if you just save the overlays (as a ds9 region file), you will lose the underlying image.

What do I do with the zip files I get when I download data?
To uncompress the files you have downloaded, type "unzip foo.zip". To uncompress multiple files at once, type "unzip '*.zip'" (the single quotes are important), or "unzip \*.zip" -- you just have to escape out the wildcard.

How do I get more help?
The "Help" blue tab leads you into this online help, as does "Finder Chart Help" from under the "Help" in the IRSA menu on the top of the Finder Chart page. You can also download a PDF version of this manual; look at the top of the help window.

You can submit questions to the IRSA Help Desk.

Found a bug? The known bugs and issues in this version of Finder Chart are listed here. If you think you have found a bug, before reporting it, please check this list, and read this online Finder Chart help. It may be a "feature" we already know about. If you have found a new, real bug then please do contact us via the IRSA Help Desk. Please include your operating system version and your browser software and version. If you can, please also include any specific error message you may have gotten. (NB: In our testing, copying shortcuts worked on Windows and Linux; the command-C did not work on Macs, but selecting and clicking the right mouse button did.)