AstroImageJ: Image Processing and Photometric Extraction for Ultra-Precise Astronomical Light Curves
ImageJ is a graphical user interface (GUI) driven, public domain, Java-based, software package for general image processing traditionally used mainly in life sciences fields. The image processing capabilities of ImageJ are useful and extendable to other scientific fields. Here we present AstroImageJ (AIJ), which provides an astronomy specific image display environment and tools for astronomy specific image calibration and data reduction. Although AIJ maintains the general purpose image processing capabilities of ImageJ, AIJ is streamlined for time-series differential photometry, light curve detrending and fitting, and light curve plotting, especially for applications requiring ultra-precise light curves (e.g., exoplanet transits). AIJ reads and writes standard FITS files, as well as other common image formats, provides FITS header viewing and editing, and is World Coordinate System (WCS) aware, including an automated interface to the astrometry.net web portal for plate solving images. Although AIJ provides research grade image calibration and analysis tools, its GUI driven approach and cross-platform compatibility enable new users, even at the level of undergraduate student, high school student, or amateur astronomer, to quickly start processing, modeling, and plotting astronomical image data with one tightly integrated software package.