A WcsMap is used to represent sky coordinate projections as described in the (draft) FITS world coordinate system (FITS-WCS) paper by E.W. Griesen and M. Calabretta (A & A, in preparation). This paper defines a set of functions, or sky projections, which transform longitude-latitude pairs representing spherical celestial coordinates into corresponding pairs of Cartesian coordinates (and vice versa).
A WcsMap is a specialised form of Mapping which implements these sky projections and
applies them to a specified pair of coordinates. All the projections in the FITS-WCS
paper are supported, plus the now deprecated
" TAN with polynomial correction terms
projection which is refered to here by the code
" . Using the FITS-WCS
terminology, the transformation is between
" native spherical
" projection plane
coordinates. These coordinates may, optionally, be embedded in a space with
more than two dimensions, the remaining coordinates being copied unchanged.
Note, however, that for consistency with other AST facilities, a WcsMap handles
coordinates that represent angles in radians (rather than the degrees used by
The type of FITS-WCS projection to be used and the coordinates (axes) to which it applies are specified when a WcsMap is first created. The projection type may subsequently be determined using the WcsType attribute and the coordinates on which it acts may be determined using the WcsAxis(lonlat) attribute.
Each WcsMap also allows up to 100
" projection parameters
" to be associated with each
axis. These specify the precise form of the projection, and are accessed using
" is the integer axis index (starting at 1), and m is an integer
" in the range 0 to 99. The number of projection parameters
required by each projection, and their meanings, are dependent upon the projection
type (most projections either do not use any projection parameters, or use
parameters 1 and 2 associated with the latitude axis). Before creating a
WcsMap you should consult the FITS-WCS paper for details of which projection
parameters are required, and which have defaults. When creating the WcsMap,
you must explicitly set values for all those required projection parameters
which do not have defaults defined in this paper.
"keyword. You should consult the FITS-WCS paper for a list of the available projections. The additional code of AST__TPN can be supplied which represents a TAN projection with polynomial correction terms as defined in an early draft of the FITS-WCS paper.
"and be distinct from
"format specifiers identified by
"symbols in the normal way.
If the sky projection to be implemented requires projection parameter values to be set,
then this should normally be done here via the PVi_m attribute (see the
section). Setting values for these parameters is mandatory if they do not have default
values (as defined in the FITS-WCS paper).
"format specifiers, then an optional list of additional arguments may follow it in order to supply values to be substituted for these specifiers. The rules for supplying these are identical to those for the astSet function (and for the C
") is required and has no default, so is set explicitly to 40.0 degrees. Projection parameter 2 (corresponding to FITS keyword
") is required but has a default of zero, so need not be specified.
The forward transformation of a WcsMap converts between FITS-WCS
" native spherical
" relative physical
" coordinates, while the inverse transformation converts in the
opposite direction. This arrangement may be reversed, if required, by using astInvert
or by setting the Invert attribute to a non-zero value.
If any set of coordinates cannot be transformed (for example, many projections do not cover the entire celestial sphere), then a WcsMap will yield coordinate values of AST__BAD.
The validity of any projection parameters given via the PVi_m parameter in the
" string is not checked by this function. However, their validity is checked
when the resulting WcsMap is used to transform coordinates, and an error will result if
the projection parameters do not satisfy all the required constraints (as defined in
the FITS-WCS paper).
A null Object pointer (AST__NULL) will be returned if this function is invoked with the AST error status set, or if it should fail for any reason.