The Ginga astronomical FITS file viewer

This project is maintained by ejeschke

Ginga screenshot

About Ginga

Ginga is a viewer for astronomical data FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) files.

The Ginga viewer centers around a new FITS display widget which supports zooming and panning, color and intensity mapping, a choice of several automatic cut levels algorithms and canvases for plotting scalable geometric forms. In addition to this widget, the fits viewer provides a flexible plugin framework for extending the viewer with many different features. A fairly complete set of "standard" plugins are provided for features that we expect from a modern viewer: panning and zooming windows, star catalog access, cuts, star pick/fwhm, thumbnails, etc.

Copyright and License

Copyright (c) 2011-2014 Eric R. Jeschke. All rights reserved. Ginga is distributed under an open-source BSD licence. Please see the file LICENSE.txt in the top-level directory for details.

Getting the source

$ git clone

Or use one of the links above to get a zip or tar ball.

Building and Installation

Ginga uses a standard distutils based install, e.g.

$ python build


$ python install

The program can then be run using the command "ginga"

For more information on installation, please see the file doc/install.txt

How do I use this thing?

An up-to-date version of the documentation is always available on readthedocs. Be sure to also check out the wiki and FAQ.

Bug reports?

Check out the issue tracker.


Please see the various scripts in the examples directory. There is more information for developers in the manual.


"Ginga" is the romanized spelling of the Japanese word "銀河" (hiragana: ぎんが), meaning "galaxy" (in general) and, more familiarly, the Milky Way. This viewer was written by software engineers at Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan--thus the connection.


Ginga the viewer may be pronounced "ging-ga" (proper japanese) or "jing-ga" (perhaps easier for western tongues). The latter pronunciation has meaning in the Brazilian dance/martial art capoeira: a fundamental rocking or back and forth swinging motion. Pronounciation as "jin-ja" is considered poor form.