Mira MX 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 various data types: binary, 8 to 32 bits per pixel integer, 32 and 64 bit real, and RGB. Mira MX x64 includes 5 RGB pixel types from standard 24 bpp to 192 bpp real.
  • Multiple image blinking and animation, ranging from manual blinking to many frames per second; works with any displayed image, regardless of 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.
  • Smooth, real time contrast, brightness, and gamma stretching and other palette changes. Works for one image or an image stack, even during rapid image 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)
  • Adjust visible data window's position and magnification factor in live mode for both axes, for each axis, in steps, or by marking a rectangle of interest.
  • View  live cursor coordinate readout using world coordinates in the spatial dimension, such as mm or microns, if the image is calibrated.
  • Animation and over-plotting of multiple plot series. Animation modes include single step, forward/backward, continuous, single pass, or rock modes. The animation rate and series interval can be specified.
  • Adjustable plot attributes for x,y axes: min/max limits, reversed scale, major and minor tick styles, tick count, etc.; changeable axis tics and labels, fonts, colors, background, grid, and  title; plot attributes can be configured as defaults before the plot or changed after the plot.
  • Plot intensity along an individual column or row or all columns or rows in a rectangular region; plot a single image or an entire image stack.
  • Plot an average line from the mean, median, or sum of rows or columns inside a rectangular region; plot a single image or an entire image stack.
  • Plot data along an angled line between two points, add plot series for parallel lines perpendicular to the first.
  • Copy/paste plot series between plot windows, for example, to overplot a median intensity slice over a range of rows.
  • Histogram of pixel values inside a rectangular image region; choose automatic or user-specified bin width, number of bins, total range, and other parameters; plot histogram of a single image or an image stack.
  • 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 world coordinates (mm, microns, arcseconds, etc.) on the x0-axis; plot DN, ADU, Counts, or in physical values on the y axis.
  • Set line color and width, or symbol style, color, size and other parameters may be configured before the plot or changed after the plot. Series can also be hidden or displayed
  • Fit polynomial functions to 1 or more plot series, including sigma rejection, data editing, region selection, and forced coefficients.
  • View x, y pairs for all plot series, save to a text file, copy to the clipboard, or print them.
  • Produce publication quality plots; copy the plot window data window to the clipboard for pasting into other applications such as MS Word or a graphics arts application; plots can be printed in color or converted to black & white.

3D Visualization

  • Rapidly generate detailed 3-D renderings of images having 8 to 64 bits per pixel. Use for visualizing data and numeric models.
  • Plot a single image or an entire image stack; when plotting a stack, you can single step between renderings or animate at a desired speed.
  • Mouse operated tilt and rotation plus auto-timed surface rotation, forward and backward at a selected speed. When an image stack is rendered, the rotation, tilt, and sequencing may be combined automatically or manually.
  • Select from 4 plot types: 3-D intensity surface, intensity wireframe, Illuminated Surface (Phong shaded), or simple transparent wireframe; the plot type is saved as a default or may be changed after the fact.
  • Select from 6 pixel representations: triangular or quadrilateral facets, Stepped or piecewise ribbon, pixel value only, or column plot.
  • Apply grayscale or pseudocolor palettes as a function of z-value or spot intensity.
  • Adjust the z-axis scaling relative to the palette or using an absolute palette; the z value limits can be automatic or user-defined; palette adjustmnet is done in real-time.
  • Adjustable viewpoint position, Phong shading parameters, selectable overlay grid, projection planes, and axes.

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 one or more contours at the image value where the mouse is clicked.
  • Contour stiffness (smoothness) can be selected from 4 values to smooth out noise or show every detail.
  • Contour the entire image or a rectangular region.

Image Cursor

  • Dedicated image cursor is independent of the live mouse pointer used in roam mode and by toolbar commands; position, width, height, and color is adjustable.
  • Choose cursor styles from crosshair, rectangle, full-image lines, or disable it.
  • Cursor position and size stay where you place it; used for plotting, marking coordinate positions, region statistics, etc.
  • 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

  • Unique hierarchical calibration tool performs any combination of standard data reduction processes for image calibration.
  • Choose from among any or all operations: 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.
  • Create, save, and modify processing profiles that apply specific procedures and methods.
  • Process 1 or more displayed images or process image files to save time and memory.
  • Select target images and calibration frames using filename templates, file lists, or matched keyword 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 image information display; some fields are editable, such as time, filter, and desription.
  • Table based FITS format header editor. Automatically handles string and number values and FITS specific format requirements.


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, modulus (remainder).
  • 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, discover and characterize  variable sources and transient phenomena. Mira MX offers these 21 methods:

  • Mean Methods: Arithmetic,  Geometric, Modified Trimmed Mean, Contra-harmonic Mean, Yp Mean.
  • Clipped Mean Methods: Min Clipped, Max Clipped, Min/max Clipped, Alpha Clipped, Rank Clipped, Sigma Clipped, Mask by 0.
  • Weighted Mean Methods: Values supplied by a a keyword in the image headers.
  • Ranking Methods: Median, Percentile, Minimum, Maximum.
  • Other Methods: Standard Deviation, Sum, Range, Min/max Clipped Range.

Normalize as part of combining to make the statistics work correctly. Choose scale or offset methods using a statistical reference in a region of interest. Regional statistics include many of the combining methods listed above..

Coordinate Calibration

Mira MX provides tools for calibrating images in world coordinates that report x,y position in spatial units such as mm, or microns, as well as angular coordinates. Both pixel coordinates and world coordinates are reported in displays, measurements, and plots. Also provided is luminance calibration to report physical units such as ergs/sec/cm2, Kelvins, or microliters.

  • Live cursor in displayed images and plots reports world coordinates if the image is calibrated.
  • Interrogate, measure, and plot image data using either physical (world) coordinates or pixel coordinates.
  • The world coordinate calibration can be computed or assigned using linear distance units or angular units of arcseconds. Mira MX also loads world coordinates from images calibrated with such.
  • Mira MX reports accurate, sub-pixel precision coordinates for measurements of point sources, plots, and fiducial points; angles, distance, perimeter, area, and point luminance using pixel coordinates or calibrated world coordinates.
  • The Interactive calibration tool uses a physical length and user-specified distance to create a world calibration.
  • Spatial calibration can be saved with the image.

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


Mira MX provides a rich collection of filters sharing many common properties such as adjustable kernel size, elongation, and rotation, where applicable.

  • Unsharp masking and high pass filters for general sharpening, boxcar, elliptical, Gaussian, block average. block sum (pseudo-binning), median, min, max, rank percentile, clip high/low filters.
  • Kobayashi filter for cosmic ray removal.
  • Digital Development Processing (DDP) for emulating the response curve of photographic emulsion. Mira MX x64 includes Maximum Entropy processing for enhancing sharpness while suppressing noise.
  • Custom n x m filter and 3x3 filters lets you design your own filter kernels.
  • Rotational Gradient for revealing asymmetries in round objects.



Measurements are reported in tabular form in a Report window, providing the user a common interface and post-measurement  functionality regardless of the measurement type.

  •  Measure statistics over a region of interest or the entire image (mean, median, min, max, standard deviation).
  • Measure image coordinates with subpixel accuracy, manually or using moment weighted centroid;
  • Measure FWHM, peak, and local background using a Gaussian profile +Constant model.
  • Measure distance, position angle, and endpoint coordinates between any two points.
  • Measure polygon area, perimeter, and luminance statistics.
  • 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.

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 the transformation equations.
  • Align automatically to absolute position when the images have world coordinate calibrations.
  • 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

  • Opens and saves to  TIFF, FITS, JPEG, and 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 MX 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.
  • Open and save unformatted binary images and ASCII text format images.


  • Standard Plug-in Interface; add plug-ins for opening new image format and for processing images and image sets.
  • Scripting in Mira MX x64.

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