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I Converting Planck data for spherical projection

  1. Nov 10, 2016 #1
    Does anyone know how I could convert data from Planck, which appear as an oval shape, into a form that I can easily map onto a sphere (ie. a rectangular shape in 2:1 aspect ratio)?

    Here is an example Planck image: http://sci.esa.int/science-e-media/img/61/Planck_CMB_Mollweide_4k.jpg

    I see that NASA have something called 'Science on a Sphere' where they have taken similar data (ie. WMAP) and managed to project it onto a sphere (see here), so it must be possible!

    Does anyone know the process for this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2016 #2


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    You'd have to get the raw FITS files from the Planck website:

    These are the raw maps for each frequency. I'd suggest looking at maps from 70GHz - 217GHz for looking at the CMB. Use the full mission maps (top row).

    Or, if you just want to look at the CMB (with foreground signals subtracted):

    You'd then need a program to visualize them. Here's one, though it may not be easy to install unless you're familiar with Linux:
  4. Nov 10, 2016 #3
    Thanks! This is very helpful!

    Is that viewer able to export a 2D map that I can then project onto a sphere in a 3D application though? From the description it sounds like you can view it on a sphere inside the program, but not necessarily export what I'm after.

    Thanks again for your help.
  5. Nov 10, 2016 #4


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    I'm not familiar with any software to convert FITS to any other format that stores data for the full surface of the sphere for the purpose of projecting in 3D, unfortunately.

    I know roughly how you could write such a program, but that solution will only work if you're a programmer.
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