What is a MOC?
MOCs, developed at the Centre de
Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), are scalable descriptions of
arbitrary sky regions based on the HEALPix sky tessellation algorithm.
The resolution of MOCs is determined by the maximum value of the HEALPix level used to define a region.
The Chandra Data Archive has produced comprehensive MOC maps of all public (as of the end of 2017) Chandra
observations. In the near future, we plan to provide regularly updated MOCs. Chandra MOCs include: all
public data except for ACIS observations in Continuous Clocking
(CC) mode; a set of MOCs for gratings
(LETG and HETG) observations; MOCs of all Chandra observations included in all versions of the
Chandra Source Catalog (CSC); and Chandra MOCs for all public
observations for MOC orders from 9 to 13, corresponding to average resolutions for the cells in the highest HEALPix level
(ranging from ~6.8' to ~25.7’’).
Note: CSC MOCs are only provided for MOC order 13.
All Chandra MOCs may be downloaded as fits files below.
How can I use the Chandra MOCs?
In this section, we provide two examples of usage of Chandra
MOCs that take advantage of tools that will be described more in details below.
A) The Chandra MOC files can be downloaded and displayed locally
using the Aladin Desktop client. The following scenario
(based on Aladin Desktop v10.0 for Mac) explains how to visualize a Chandra MOC, load images and MOCs obtained from
XMM observations and calculate the MOC representing the overlap between the two MOCs:
- Click on the link of the Chandra Archive MOC file for a given cell resolution, and save
the file to any path on your computer
- Start Aladin Desktop on your computer. Click on the "File" menu in the command bar and select
"Load local file...". In the window, find the downloaded MOC file and double-click on it.
- The Chandra MOC will appear as a new "plane" in the Aladin plane stack, and will be displayed
in the central panel
- Images and MOCs from other observatory to be displayed with the Chandra MOC can be found in the
"Available data" pane (left side of the Aladin window). For example: expand the "Image" folder and select
"X", then "XMM" and finally click on the item "X-ray images on band 0.5-1 KeV". A new window will appear: check
the boxes next to "progressive" and "coverage" and click "Load".
- Two new planes, containing the
XMM HiPS image and MOC in the 0.5-1 KeV band, will be displayed with the Chandra MOC
- Click on the "Coverage" menu item, then on "Logical operations". In the "MOC operations" window,
select the Chandra and the XMM PN colored MOCs as first and second planes, respectively.
Check that intersection" is selected and click on "CREATE"
- A new plane showing the footprint of the overlap between the Chandra and the XMM MOC will
appear in the plane stack
- The sky area/fraction covered and the maximum angular resolutions of the MOCs can be accessed by right-clicking
(or control-clicking) on the plane associated to any MOC, and then selecting "Properties"
B) The Chandra MOC files can be also employed to filter a list of
positions based on whether they are located within the Chandra footprint, using
TOPCAT (v4.5 for Mac), as described in the
Chandra MOCs may be visualized and manipulated with a number of software tools
- Aladin Desktop: GUI tool for the visualization and analysis of
astronomical images. Supports interactive exploration of MOCs and simple operations on them
- TOPCAT: GUI tool allowing interactive manipulation and
visualization on catalogs and tables. TOPCAT has recently introduced
new functions that select positions located within a
MOC. Similar capabilities have been implemented in STILTS, the command-line counterpart to TOPCAT
- MOCPy and PyMOC:
these Python libraries allow reading, writing, visualization and manipulation of MOCs, in both FITS and JSON serializations
Note: DS9 does not support MOCs.