-- BrianKent - 2010-12-10

Main Gaia webpage and installation can be found here:

with installation instructions for 32 and 64-bit Linux here:

The shell script in bin/gaia will start the program on a Linux machine.

Gaia Benefits

Great graphics capabilities for annotation

Data cube management is present, including slicing the cube along any axis

Profiles for different drawing tools shapes can be used for slightly more accurate integrated spectral profiles

2D signal extraction with appropriate libraries installed

Comprehensive photometry utilities including bias and dark subtraction

Distance measure in sky units for arbitrary image slices

Sortable FITS header GUI

Gaia3D and CUPID have great potential for 3D rendering, but volume rendering is slow for large files

Gaia3D controls (read help at bottom of GUI) allow for easy manipulation. Auto-scaling works, but it can be tricky to pick the right values.

Most menu items and functions are automatic and will open depending on the dimension of the FITS file

Gaia Drawbacks

Not all data cube (including collapse and channel map features) features will work

Axis labels are not quite super mongo publication quality, but can be improved in the "Image-Analysis" menu with some effort.

Fitting routines require extra libraries - further research required...


It is useful to illustrate the CUPID 3D/Gaid attributes.

Files for galaxy NGC 6503 are available as attachments to this wiki page. The data are all public data from the NRAO FITS site or surveys on SkyView and include DSS optical imaging (red,blue), GALEX (far,near UV), and an HI data cube.

Volume rendering with Gaia3D and CUPID

1. Start Gaia (./

2. Open a FITS cube (File->Open->ngc6503.fits)

3. A pop up console will appear "Display image sections of a cube". Choose (View->3D visualization->Volume Rendering)

4. A pop up application (see images attached) will allow for zooming (mouse wheel), rotation (left mouse -click to "push" the cube around an axis), and translation (right mouse).

5. The default orange color scheme seems to work best.

6. A cube that is 1024 x 1024 by 64 will begin to max out the volume rendering in CUPID 3D. However, it works great for smaller cubes.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who CommentSorted ascending
gaia3d.jpgjpg gaia3d.jpg manage 445 K 2011-02-14 - 09:34 BrianKent NGC 5194 (from M. Thornley). Image maxes out CUPID 3D on standard hardware.
ngc6503_dss2blue.fitsfits ngc6503_dss2blue.fits manage 267 K 2011-01-28 - 16:01 BrianKent NGC 6503 DSS 2 Blue image
ngc6503.fitsfits ngc6503.fits manage 7 MB 2011-01-28 - 16:00 BrianKent NGC 6503 HI data cube
gaia3d_2.jpgjpg gaia3d_2.jpg manage 404 K 2011-02-14 - 09:33 BrianKent NGC 6503 screen shot in CUPID 3D
Topic revision: r3 - 2011-02-14, BrianKent
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