[AstroPy] Rebin FITS images and preserve or recalculate WCS?

Eric Jensen ejensen1 at swarthmore.edu
Mon Aug 3 23:01:21 EDT 2020

Hi all, 

We are looking at purchasing a new CMOS camera that has 4-micron pixels, which would significantly undersample our PSF. (The camera is otherwise excellent for our needs, e.g. excellent QE.)  So I’m looking at whether there would be a straightforward way in scripted post-processing to reduce the image file sizes while not losing information.  The existing camera driver doesn’t support more than 2x2 binning at this time. 

Is there available Python code that can take a FITS image with a valid WCS in the header and rebin it, and output a FITS image that still has a valid WCS for the rebinned image?  The rebinning should also preserve flux, though I think that’s easier than the WCS part.  Nothing obvious turns up in a little searching, but I could easily have missed it.  

It seems that Montage might be able to do this (mShrink) but if possible I’d prefer a pure-Python solution, as it would be easier to implement under Windows on our observatory control computer.  (A fallback would be to install a Linux distro on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, but if it’s possible to do it purely in Python that would be a lot simpler.) 

Thanks for any thoughts, 


Eric Jensen
Professor of Astronomy
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Swarthmore College
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