What is Montage?

Montage is a toolkit for assembling Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) images into custom mosaics. Key features for end users are:

Preserves spatial and calibration fidelity of input images
Runs on all common Linux/Unix platforms
Runs on desktops, clusters and computational grids
Open source code and user documentation available for download
Supports all World Coordinate System (WCS) projections and common coordinate systems
Processes 40 million pixels in up to 32 minutes on 128 nodes on a Linux cluster
Independent engines for analyzing the geometry of images on the sky; re-projecting images; rectifying background emission to a common level; co-adding images
Tools for managing and manipulating large image files


September 30, 2015
Version 4 Released. See Release of Montage Version 4.0 on the home page.
February 18, 2015
Mac users should see the note on the left regarding patching the software.
July 23, 2014
The Montage license has been changed to a BSD 3-Clause License, which permits unlimited redistribution of Montage code for any purpose as long as its copyright notices and the license's disclaimers of warranty are included.
January 19, 2011
Montage now has a published Wikipedia article.
December 15, 2010
Montage version 3.3 released! Plus, new C-shell scripts contributed by Colin Aspin and new publications on using Montage in cloud computing and Web 2.0. Also, read the new Montage blog and "Like" us on Facebook.
July 1, 2010
Our new User-Contributed Software page now contains a link to Dr. Tom Robitaille's Python API for Montage. The software enhances Montage functionality, including functions for accessing individual Montage commands and facilitating mosaicking and re-projecting.
March 22, 2010
The on-request mosaic Web service now serves the DR7 data set from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).
October 4, 2007
IRSA and the NVO announce an on-request mosaic Web service. The service runs on a compute cluster and uses Montage to return mosaics from 2MASS, SDSS and DSS.

Release of Montage Version 4.0

Version 4.0 is a major upgrade of Montage, released with a BSD 3-clause license. The distribution is available from Git Hub at https://github.com/Caltech-IPAC/Montage and from the Montage web page at http://montage.ipac.caltech.edu/docs/download.html. The contents of the release are as follows:

  • Five new modules dedicated to aggregating multidimensional input images in FITS format into mosaics of data cubes, and to supporting management and analysis of these cubes and their associated metadata. These modules are:

    1. mTranspose: Re-orders axes of multi-dimensional data sets.
    2. mProjectCube: Reprojects a single cube to the scale and coordinate system specified by the user; it supports all projections in the World Coordinate System (WCS) library; and it supports the "Drizzle" algorithm.
    3. mSubCube: Creates a subimage ("cutout") of a cube.
    4. mShrinkCube: Reduces the size of a FITS cube according an input scaling factor.
    5. mAddCube: Co-adds the reprojected cubes to form the output mosaic.

  • Backwards-compatible updates to existing modules to support processing of data cubes.

  • A new module, mViewer, supports rendering from the command line of multi-dimensional images as well as large-scale images. It creates JPEG and PNG output files. The JPEG files contain AVM tags, which support incorporation of the images into the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) and other E/PO tools.

  • A beta version of a Python wrapper around mViewer to support incorporation into Python processing environments.

  • A tutorial on transposing the axes of data cubes using mTranspose.

  • A tutorial on creating a mosaic from data cubes.

As with earlier releases, the new release is written in ANSI-compliant C and intended for use on all common Unix-based platforms. It was tested formally on RedHat Enterprise Linux Server 5.9 and on Mac OS X 10.9.x, with the gnu cc complier version 4.1, and the primary test data sets were public data cubes measured with the OSIRIS integral field spectrograph at the Keck Observatory and cubes released by the Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array HI (GALFA-HI) Survey.

Earlier distributions of Montage will no longer be supported.

Featured Mosaic

This image represents an average of the central 10 velocity planes of a mosaic of five data cubes released as part of the Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array HI (GALFA-HI) survey (Peek et al., 2011, Ap J Suppl, 194, 20; DOI 10.1088/0067-0049/194/2/20; ADS Bibcode 2011ApJS..194...20P). GALFA is a high-resolution (~4'), large-area (13,000 deg2), high spectral resolution (0.18 km s-1), and wide band (-700 km s -1 < v LSR < +700 km s-1) survey of the Galactic interstellar medium in the 21 cm line hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen conducted at Arecibo Observatory. See the Data Cube Mosaics tutorial on how to compute a data cube mosaic such as this.