SAOImage DS9 is an astronomical imaging and data visualization application. DS9 supports FITS images and binary tables, multiple frame buffers, region manipulation, and many scale algorithms and colormaps. It provides for easy communication with external analysis tasks and is highly configurable and extensible via XPA and SAMP.

DS9 is a stand-alone application. It requires no installation or support files. All versions and platforms support a consistent set of GUI and functional capabilities.

DS9 supports advanced features such as 2-D, 3-D and RGB frame buffers, mosaic images, tiling, blinking, geometric markers, colormap manipulation, scaling, arbitrary zoom, cropping, rotation, pan, and a variety of coordinate systems.

The GUI for DS9 is user configurable. GUI elements such as the coordinate display, panner, magnifier, horizontal and vertical graphs, button bar, and color bar can be configured via menus or the command line.


SAOImage DS9 development has been made possible by funding from the Chandra X-ray Science Center (CXC) and the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Center (HEASARC). Additional funding was provided by the JWST Mission office at Space Telescope Science Institute to improve capabilities for 3-D data visualization.

SAOImage DS9

SAOImage DS9 Version 7.5

DS9 version 7.5 is now available on the Download page. New to version 7.5 is image blocking and reordering of  data cube axes. Please see the What’s New page for more details. Note: SAOImage DS9 version 7.6b8 is now available for download