The Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy (CARTA) is a visualization application used for analysis and visualization of CASA and FITS images. 

Supported Platforms

CARTA is supported on

  • RHEL 6.x
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Mac OS 10.10 and 10.11
  • CARTA should operate on several other platforms but its functionality may not be robust.


CARTA operates as a standalone application. To install CARTA, download the application bundle from GitHub here. Then depending on your architecture, perform the following.


Unzip the bundle and then run:

tar xvfz carta_0.7.0.tar.gz
cd carta_0.7.0


Double-click on the disk image (dmg) file and drag the application into your Applications directory.  The CARTA binary is currently unsigned in the Mac App store and you may have to allow CARTA to run with permission from an unknown developer.

Side Effects: CARTA creates a user space directory called `CARTA` in your home directory. This is where user preferences and default images are stored.


The CARTA Model

CARTA is a flexible application and can be configured in a variety of ways to facilitate analysis. The CARTA application consists of the Workspace and the Menu Bar. The workspace is laid out with dividers that separate the workspace into Sections. Each section can hold a View, which is a specific tool inside the GUI. The figure below labels these features. The workspace can be separated into several sections. A specific view can assigned to each of these sections. However, some of the views (e.g., an animator) only make sense if they are connected to an image view. CARTA uses a system of Links to connect views to others.

CARTA has several default configurations that lay out the tool in a specified fashion for a particular analysis. If you set up a different configuration than the defaults, CARTA has save/restore functionality. You have the option of saving Layout which retails the configuration of dividers, views and links. If you save Preferences, this configures the different views within CARTA to have a specific value. Finally, a full session can be saved, which includes restoring the state of CARTA, showing the same images, layout, and preferences as when the Session was saved.

Menu Information

The menu bar contains two kinds of menus: the menus for individual Views and the menus for the application itself.