Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy

The CARTA team

CARTA is developed by
Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA)
Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA)
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
Department of Physics, University of Alberta


CARTA is the Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy, a new image visualization and analysis tool designed for the ALMA, the VLA, and the SKA pathfinders. As the image size increases drastically with modern telescopes in recent years, viewing an image with a local image viewer or with a remote image viewer via the ssh protocol becomes less efficient. The mission of CARTA is to provide usability and scalability for the future by utilizing modern web technologies and computing parallelization.

Download and Installation

CARTA utilizes discrete or integrated GPU for image rendering. Therefore, the CARTA Desktop 'local' version is intended for use on a laptop or desktop computer directly connected to a monitor.

  • Local version 1.1 download links:
  • We also provide a 'remote' version for users who wish to run CARTA from a remote RedHat6 (or RedHat7 or Ubuntu) server via the ssh protocol or VNC. As the majority of servers do not have onboard GPUs, the remote version runs the CARTA 'backend' on the server, while the CARTA 'frontend' is accessed through your web browser of choice running on your local machine. This allows your local machine's GPU to perform the image rendering, while the remote server handles the storage and CPU/RAM instensive tasks.

  • Remote version 1.1 download link:
  • CARTA v1.1 is intended to completely replace CARTA v1.0 and v1.0.1. If you have a previous version of CARTA already installed, please remove it by simply dragging /Applications/CARTA-v1.0 or /Applications/CARTA-v1.0.1 to the Trashcan on Mac, or on Linux by deleting the previous AppImage or the remote version directory. Remember to update any aliases or symlinks you may have made for v1.0 or v1.0.1

    Installation instructions for Mac and Linux are here.

    Previous releases of CARTA can be found here.

    User manual and Getting help

    The user manual is available here.
    Should there be any problem, please contact us.


    ASIAA CASA Development Center (ACDC) acknowledges the grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan for the ALMA-NA collaboration.

    The Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy is a partnership of three South African universities: the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape and the University of Pretoria.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

    CARTA is mainly built in C++, TypeScript, and JavaScript, and with the following third-party libraries:

    Copyright and License

    Copyright (C) 2018-2019 ASIAA, IDIA, and NRAO. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

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