Mira Pro Feature List

Displaying Images

  • Display single images or image stacks, using 1 window or multiple windows. Mira's image display and post-display image manipulation is unmatched in PC software, saving you valuable time.
  • Open images having 8 to 64 bits per pixel and RGB color images.
  • Multiple image blinking and animation, ranging from manual blinking to many frames per second, for any format, image size, or bit depth.
  • Monochrome, pseudo-color, and RGB color (images at left show luminance data in grayscale and pseudo-color).

  • Produce publication quality prints of displayed images using any  printer supported by Windows, including color printers. Printing options include page scaling or specified size and placement, margin rulers, grid overlay, header data, and user comments.

  • Real time contrast stretching and palette manipulation of one image or a stack, even during animation.
  • Image Bar control panel with thumbnail magnifier and full-image views; provides coordinate readout and commonly used command buttons; displays current settings.
  • Zoom ratios of 1/16 to 16x, live panning at any magnification, live image cursor sizing and adjustment. You can even adjust these parameters and the image palette during animation!
  • Animation Bar control panel for image sets; controls animation, blinking, speed, frame selection.
  • Overall, Mira's image display and animation performance are unparalleled on the Windows platform.

Visual Enhancements
(Palettes, Transfer Functions)

  • Unparalleled control of palette and transfer function options for superior grayscale and pseudo-color enhancement.
  • Interactive adjustment of Palette R, G, and B, as well as total contrast and brightness stretch in real time, even during high speed image animation.
  • Create, modify, delete, and rename standard palettes or your own palettes..
  • Palette selection includes dozens of pre-defined palettes Including grayscale, random, and level-slice palettes, plus a selection of pseudo-color palettes.
  • Versatile transfer function adjustment, with fine control over sampling, range enhancement, and stretch parameters.
  • Choice of sample methods: entire image or cursor region.
  • Choice of range methods: Predefined percentile ranges, user-defined percentiles, Min/Max, Z-Scale algorithm, and Z value limits.
  • Choice of scaling methods: Linear, Logarithmic, and Gamma Power transfer functions; adjustable gamma value.
  • Make transfer function adjustments for one or all images in a stack in real-time, even during image animation.





  • Plot windows provide efficient display of 1-D dimensional data. Toolbar operated plot zooming and change of attributes.
  • Each window plots 1 or more series (e.g., multiple image rows)
  • Adjustable plot attributes for x,y axes: min/max limits, reversed scale, major and minor tick styles, tick count, etc.; changeable axis labels, fonts, colors, background, grid, and  title.
  • Plot intensity along an individual column or row.
  • Intensity along a range of columns or rows (separately or as a single, average line).
  • Plot combined rows or columns using mean, median, or sum of adjacent lines.
  • Plot single image or stack of images (image set);
  • Plot data along an angled line between two points, overplot parallel or arbitrary lines.
  • Copy/paste plot series between plot windows, for example, overplot a median intensity slice over a range of rows.
  • Histogram of pixel values inside a rectangular image region.
  • Radial brightness profile with a fit to a Gaussian + Constant model; gives estimate the Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM), peak value, and background from fit.
  • Plot in pixel coordinates (column, row, value) or in celestial coordinates and brightness units for WCS and/or BUNIT calibrated images.
  • Live cursor readout displays in plot coordinates, including celestial coordinates for WCS calibrated images.
  • Publication quality plots with changeable fonts, axes, labels, grid, etc. May be copied to the Windows clipboard or pasted into other applications such as Word for publication.
  • Plots can be printed in grayscale, strict black & white, or color.
  • Extended graphics in the Ultimate Edition: Modify plot series attributes independently (line width, color, symbol size, color, shape, etc.); Set histogram binning strategy as automatic or manual bin width, count, or range.
  • Plot light curves with error bars for any selection of target stars, standards, and check stars.

3D Visualization

  • Rapidly generate detailed 3D renderings of images having 8 to 64 bits per pixel. Use for visualizing data and numeric models.
  • Create and switch between plot types: 3D intensity surface, intensity wireframe, Phong shaded surface, and simple wireframe.
  • 4D Surface rendering using palette mapping on Z axis.
  • Adjustable z-axis scaling; auto or user-defined z-range.
  • Real-time Pseudo-color and palette manipulation.
  • Mouse operated tilt and rotation plus auto-timed surface rotation.
  • Extended graphics in the Ultimate Edition: adds 4 more pixel representations, provides blinking and animation of rendered region of an image stack.

Contour Plotting

  • Plot 1 to 100 contours in Series Mode or Interactive mode.
  • Series Mode: Select 1 to 100 contours, specifying contour values and colors. Specify the values or allow Mira to calculate them using min/max values and an interval function.
  • Interactive mode: Draw contour at the pixel value where the mouse is clicked. Select smoothing and color parameters.
  • Select 4 values of contour smoothing/stiffness.
  • Contour the entire image or a rectangular region.

Image Cursor

  • Dedicated image crosshair, rectangle, or full-image lines used for plotting, marking coordinate positions, statistics, etc.
  • Adjustable position, width, and height.
  • Independent of the mouse pointer and toolbar mode cursors.
  • Live readout of pixel coordinate and world coordinate positions.
  • Send cursor to a pixel coordinate or a world coordinate position in the same or other images.
  • Pixel table editor shows ASCII text values for pixels inside the cursor region, allows image editing, printing, or saving of values to a file.

Image Calibration

  • Superior quantitative calibration tool forms any combination of standard data reduction processes for image calibration.
  • Create, save, and modify procedures that apply specific methods to distinct image sets.
  • Calibration methods:  create master bias; apply bias frame, apply bias value, erase line, polynomial or smoothed fitting of underscan or overscan columns or rows; create master dark or dark time series; apply master dark or dark time series; create master flat or filter series; apply master flat or matched filter series; repair points, columns, rows, or blotches; mask hot or cold pixels; remove cosmic ray detections. trim underscan or overscan; rename files; add, replace, or rename header keywords and values.
  • Automatically detect and repair cosmic ray events in an image set.

Image Diagnostics

  • Calculate CCD Camera Gain, Readout Noise
  • Calculate Image Scale
  • Evaluate Camera A/D Converter performance using Bit Histograms. The plot at left compares 5 images in a stack (1-click command) to show that all have the desired almost-constant value in the noise bits.

Image Headers


  • Table based FITS format header editing.
  • Automatic handling of string and number keywords which frees the user from understanding FITS format rules.
  • Perform non-FITS format image information editing for all image formats.
  • List FITS Image Header, Comment keywords, History keywords, or WCS keywords as text.

Image Math

  • Operations between images: add, subtract, multiply, divide, blend (interpolate), and modulus (remainder).
  • Operations between image and a value: add, subtract, multiply, divide, blend (interpolate), and modulus (remainder).
  • Arithmetic Operations: Change sign, byte swap, logarithms, square root, reciprocal, absolute value.
  • Remove scattered light and background irregularities using polynomial surface flattening (1--100 terms, up to 10 x 10 including all cross terms).
  • Operations may be performed between images having similar or dissimilar data types ( 8 to 64 bit integer or real).
  • All math operations are supported on both numeric and RGB data type images.

Data Types

  • Native data formats: 8, 16, and 32 bit integer, 32 and 64 bit real, 24 bit color.
  • reads and writes FITS types with BITPIX = 8, 16, -16, 32, -32, and -64.
  • Opens, saves, displays, plots, measures, processes, and converts images of any data type.

Image Combining

Increase S/N ratio, identify and analyze similarities and differences between images, and discover and characterize transient or changing objects (e.g., minor planets and variable stars). Mira Pro offers these 13 methods:

  • Mean Methods: Arithmetic Mean, Mean Masked by 0 value.
  • Clipped Mean Methods: Min/max Clipped, Sigma Clipped, Modified Trimmed Mean.
  • Weighted Mean Methods: Use weights supplied by a keyword value from the image headers.
  • Ranking Methods: Median, Rank Percentile, Minimum, Maximum.
  • Other Methods: Standard Deviation, Sum, Range.
  • Normalize as part of combining procedure to make the statistics work correctly. This is essential for most applications involving ranking operations or clipping operations. Choose scale or offset methods using a statistical reference in a region of interest. The normalization statistic may be computed using one of the same methods listed above.

FITS WCS support

  • Support for FITS World Coordinate System standard. Exchange images with a celestial coordinate calibration intact (see coordinate readout in the image window example, above).
  • Measure astrometric quality, precision positions, angles, and distances in celestial coordinates on WCS calibrated images.
  • Apply Linear Arcsecond or RA,Dec Scales; calibration is used for coordinate readout, plots and measurements.
  • List WCS Keyword Data to Mira Text Editor.

Aperture Photometry

  • Perform quick. accurate aperture photometry of 1 or more point sources in 1 or more images.
  • Elliptical or circular apertures, can be sized, stretched, and rotated. Uses exact mathematics, which is essential for correct aperture sums in under-sampled data.
  • Accurate background subtraction compensates for other sources located in the sky annulus..
  • Reports 20 parameters for each measurement, including magnitude, position, world coordinates, flux, background, S/N ratio, 2 error estimates, date, time, Julian Date, and more.
  • Julian Date can be reported for beginning, middle, or end of exposure.
  • Import and automatically measure a catalog of object positions in 1 or more images using x,y or world coordinates.
  • Track objects from 1 image through a stack of images and measure the entire image set.
  • Easily prepare an AAVSO report using the new extended format for single star and ensemble photometry.
  • Plot light curves with error bars for any selection of target stars, standards, and check stars.

Markers & Labels

  • Interactively add markers to images with multi-line text labels.
  • Choose from a selection of marker styles, including crosshairs, circles, and lines.
  • Choose position of marker relative to location and select the font.

Spatial Filters


  • Sharpening Filters: Unsharp mask and high pass filters. The Unsharp mask filter can be elongated and rotated.
  • Smoothing Filters: Boxcar, Elliptical, Gaussian, Binomial, Block average, Block sum (pseudo-binning). The Elliptical and Gaussian filters can be elongated and rotated.
  • Rank Filters: Median, Min, Max, Rank Percentile.
  • Cosmic ray rejection, Clip high, Clip low,
  • Digital Development Processing (DDP) for emulating the response curve of photographic emulsion. Maximum Entropy processing is also available in the Ultimate Edition.
  • User Defined Filters: Custom n x m Filter, Custom 3x3 Filters.
  • Rotational Gradient for revealing detail in axially symmetric objects such as comets.
  • Special Purpose: Compass Gradient Filter, Laplacian Edge Filter.


  • Measure statistics over a region of interest or the entire image (mean, median, min, max, standard deviation).
  • Measure positions using astrometric quality centroid calculations.
  • Measure FWHM, peak, and local background using a Gaussian profile + Sky model.
  • Measure distance, position angle, and endpoint coordinates between any two points.
  • Perform high precision aperture photometry on one or more objects in one or more images using circular or elliptical apertures. Includes adjustments for aperture shape, size, and orientation, placement of precision local background measurement annulus, bad data rejection, etc. Includes the world's only exact area method for both circular and elliptical apertures (essential for accuracy using small apertures). Reports more than 20 quantities for each object, including position, magnitude, theoretical and empirical error estimates, S/N, flux, background, Julian Date, and other quantities.
  • All measurements are reported in tables in Report windows. Reports share a common user interface. Table data may be exported to editors or to applications such as MS Word® or Excel®, or it may be sorted, compared, or saved (see pictures at left). Measurements are listed in pixel coordinates and also in celestial coordinates if the image has a WCS calibration.
  • A roaming crosshair reads image coordinates and pixel value at full precision depending upon the screen zoom.

RGB Image Support

  • Display, plot, print, process, combine, register, measure, and filter color images.
  • Convert numeric data (8 to 64 bit pixels) to or from RGB data.
  • Merge monochrome images to make RGB images; merge with luminance data to make LRGB images.
  • Convert numeric data or RGB data to grayscale RGB.
  • Split RGB channels into monochrome images.
  • Compute world coordinates, region statistics, centroid positions, distance, and angle on RGB images.
  • Open or save using TIFF, JPEG, and BMP formats.

Geometric Transformations

  • Perform precision image registration on any number of images of any data type; correct for drift and offsets between images or correct for rotation, offset, image scale, unequal scale, and parallelogram deformations. Performs auto pattern matching on point sets to calculate transformation equations.
  • Apply sub-pixel accurate shifts, rotation, and scaling; flip horizontal or vertical, rotate 90, 180, or 270° without re-sampling.
  • Scale uniformly or unequally in each axis (e.g., squaring pixels).
  • Crop images to specified dimensions and offset or, interactively, to a specified rectangular region.
  • Expand image canvas; embed images into other images using opaque or adjustable transparent insertion; apply offset value or random noise to image border region.
  • Replace image pixels or regions with a value and optional Gaussian random noise.
  • Most geometric transformations update and retain any existing world coordinate calibration.


  • Print images, plots, text, and measurement tables.
  • Get publication quality results on any monochrome or color printer supported by your Windows operating system.
  • Set print scale, size, and location.
  • Print rulers, grid overlay, and text comments.

Integrated Text Editor

  • Integrated Mira Text window for logging of results and preparing reports. Text Windows may be created by Mira commands to receive messages from processing functions or may be created by the user.
  • Mixes Mira messages and user content that can be edited by the user.
  • Supports copy/paste between windows or from inside/outside Mira.
  • Provides text find and replace, fonts, colors.
  • Window contents may be saved to a file, opened from a text file, or printed.
  • Printing capabilities include color, fonts, margins.

Standard Image Formats

  • FITS, TIFF, JPEG, BMP standard formats.
  • Camera formats: Princeton/Roper SPE format, Photometrics/Roper IMG format, Photometrics Star-1, SBIG STx format, PixCel images, and Spectrasource Lynxx and other camera images.
  • All CCD Camera image formats that save images in FITS or TIFF format.
  • Mira provides a standard programming interface for using plug-ins to open files that have non-standard, unsupported, or user defined formats. File Open Plug-ins specify file filters that appear in the normal File | Open dialog. Plug-ins may be written by Mirametrics, the Mira user, or acquired from other authors.
  • Mira Pro can be extended for importing and exporting images in common binary and text formats using the Ultimate Edition.


  • Standard Plug-in Interface; add plug-ins for opening new image format and for processing images and image sets.

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