[Numpy-discussion] proposal: smaller representation of string arrays

Phil Hodge hodge at stsci.edu
Tue Apr 25 13:51:19 EDT 2017

On 04/25/2017 01:34 PM, Anne Archibald wrote:
> I know they're not numpy-compatible, but FITS header values are 
> space-padded; does that occur elsewhere?

Strings in FITS headers are delimited by single quotes.  Some keywords 
(only a handful) are required to have values that are blank-padded (in 
the FITS file) if the value is less than eight characters.  Whether you 
get trailing blanks when you read the header depends on the FITS 
reader.  I use astropy.io.fits to read/write FITS files, and that 
interface strips trailing blanks from character strings:

TARGPROP= 'UNKNOWN '           / Proposer's name for the target

 >>> fd = fits.open("test.fits")
 >>> s = fd[0].header['targprop']
 >>> len(s)


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