Telescope Data Center

Astronomical Software on the Web

Astrophysics Source Code Library

ASCL's editor seeks out both new and old peer-reviewed papers that describe methods or experiments that involve the development or use of source code, and adds entries for the found codes to the library.

Astronomical Software Systems

AIPS (Astronomical Image Processing System)
AIPS++ (Astronomical Image Processing System --Object-Oriented)
AipsView is the first delivered portion of Aips++
The Astropy Project is a community effort to develop a single core package for Astronomy in Python and foster interoperability between Python astronomy packages. Development is actively ongoing, with major packages such as PyFITS, PyWCS, vo, and asciitable already merged in. Many other components are under development.
IRAF (Interactive Reduction and Analysis Facility)
This is the most commonly-used software package for the reduction and analysis of astronomical optical, infrared, ultraviolet, and X-ray data. Development is centered at the National Optical Astronomical Observatory in Tucson. is now the center of user self-support efforts, and a good place to look for announcements.
Search the IRAF archives, documentation, archived ADASS newsgroup articles, buglogs, FAQ, or FTP archive.
Tips & Tricks Newsletters news groups documentation
Help pages Frequently Asked Questions Support Services Excercises and Tutorials
contributed software FITS kernel User's Guide FTP IRAF on Mac OS/X
PROS (Post-Reduction Off-line Software) X-ray analysis under IRAF
Space Telescope Science Institute STSDAS (Space Telescope Science Data Analysis System)
STScI Multi-Wavelength Spectrum and Line Analysis Package for IRAF
PyRAF, a new command language for IRAF based on the Python scripting language.
STECF (Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility IRAF Package)
Starlink (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory UK)
The Starlink Project provides and coordinates leading edge interactive data reduction and analysis tools for use in research by UK (and world wide) Astronomy, STP and Solar scientists. Free software, for private and non-profit research.
Introduction to Astronomical Computing
It's at Leyden, but the information really does apply to almost any major observatory.
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
ECLIPSE: a suite of IR datacube processing software.
SKYCAT: Graphical access to catalogs and images
FITS (Flexible Image Transport System)
The FITS Support Office maintains a library of FITS information, including an introduction to FITS. There is also a list of keyword dictionaries.
STSDAS has the Users' Guide in HTML.
FITS Viewers: SAOimage (SAO, Unix), SAOtng (SAO, Unix), DS9 (SAO, Unix, Windows 95 or later), SkyCat (ESO, Unix), jskycat (ESO, any Java platform), FITSview (NRAO, Windows 3.1 or later)
The STScI IRAF FITS kernel User's Guide has lots of information about practical use of multi-extension FITS files.
Available FITS libraries

Astronomical Utilities

Astronomy Apps for Mobile Devices, A First Catalog
Andrew Fraknoi describes a lot of astronomical applications fpr smart phones and tables.
Guide to Sky Display and Image Analysis Software
Reviews of useful PC and Workstation software by Robert Mutel
DS9 Astronomical Data Visualization Application
Written and maintained by Bill Joye at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, this program displays FITS images and binary tables on just about every platform.
FTOOLS (a collection of programs which create, examine, and modify FITS data files)
Interactive Data Reduction Methods
This is a table of information on different languages and shells which can be used to reduce and analyze astronomical data.
JSkyCalc: A Convenient, Portable Observing Aid
Written by John Thorstensen at Dartmouth College, this tool computes all sorts of observing parameters and displays the sky from any place at any time.
PHOEBE by Andrej Prsa
PHOEBE, which stands for PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs, helps model eclipsing binaries (EBs) based on real photometric and spectroscopic (radial velocity) data.
Mongo and Its Variants A SuperMongo by by Robert Lupton and Patricia Monger
NOVAS - Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines)
An integrated package of subroutines for the computation of many common astrometric quantities and transformations, available in either Fortran or C. As well as computing the instantaneous coordinates (apparent, topocentric, or astrometric place) of any star or planet, there are general astrometric utility transformations, such as those for precession, nutation, aberration, parallax, and the gravitational deflection of light. The computations are precise to better than one milliarcsecond.
The NOVAS package is an easy-to-use facility that can be incorporated into data reduction programs, telescope control systems, and simulations. The NOVAS subroutines are, in fact, identical to those now used in the production of the U.S. parts of the Astronomical Almanac. The subroutines are available in ANSI standard Fortran and C."
Standards Of Fundamental Astronomy
The IAU SOFA package is a library of Fortran subroutines which "implement standard models used in fundamental astronomy."
SAO Telescope Data Center (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory)
RVSAO: an IRAF package for finding radial velocities from spectra
RGSC a program for searching the Space Telescope Guide Star Catalog.
SKYMAP: a program for mapping star catalogs onto the sky
STAR: a program for searching star catalogs
SAOIMAGE: a program for displaying astronomical images
WCSTools: programs and subroutines to access sky coordinates in astronomical images and search star catalogs.
Emmanuel Bertin developed several very useful tools at the Institute d'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP) for the processing of extremely large data flows from digital sky surveys and distributes the following very useful software:
Talon Observatory Control and Astronomical Analysis System
A commercial suite of programs for telescope and instrument control.
X Consortium
This program plots planet positions, source catalogs, and images.

Astronomical Software Libraries C Library for JPL Ephemerides
This software reads and writes NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory planetary ephemeris files, and calculates positions and velocities with the full precision of the original JPL software, which is written in FORTRAN. This library is written in C, and is made available for free under the Lesser Gnu Public License. The LGPL allows you to use the software for free (but without any warranty), even if you use it in software you intend to sell.
FITSIO: A FITS File Subroutine Library
C Users Manual
Fortran Users Manual
JSky: Java Components for Astronomy
A collection of reusable Java components for use in astronomy which originally grew out of the development of the Skycat image and catalog application at ESO.
NOVAS: Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines
An integrated package of subroutines in Fortran and C for the computation of astronomical quantities and transformations, "identical to those now used in the production of the U.S. parts of the Astronomical Almanac.
PGPLOT Fortran Graphics Library (Caltech)
The PGPLOT Graphics Subroutine Library is a Fortran-callable, device-independent graphics package for making simple scientific graphs. An implementation under Perl, PGPERL, is also available.
A library of Fortran-callable subroutines which can be used to create publication-quality 2-dimensional graphics in the form of PostScript output files.
NOVAS (Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines)
NOVAS is an integrated package of subroutines for the computation of a wide variety of common astrometric quantities and transformations.
Spice Toolkit
The Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF), acting under the directions of NASA's Science Directorate, has built an information system named "SPICE" to assist scientists in planning and interpreting scientific observations from space-borne instruments, and to assist engineers involved in modeling, planning and executing activities needed to conduct space exploration missions. The use of SPICE extends through the post-mission data analysis phase, including help with correlation of individual instrument data sets with those from other nstruments on the same or on other spacecraft.
Swiss Ephemeris
Open source subroutines for dealing with a compact version of the JPL DE-406 ephemeris.
Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing
The Web site for this series of Cambridge University Press Books contains not just ordering information, but the entire text of Numerical Recipes in FORTRAN and Numerical Recipes in C on-line.
This software package displays the sky in many ways. Source code is free, Unix and Windows executables are available for $80 and $160, respectively.

Astronomical Software for PCs and Macs

Linux Astronomical Software
This Italian program for Windows PC's is "complete software for image processing, photometry, astrometry, camera control and image stacking for digital and film images."
Cartes du Ciel Sky Charts
This multilingual (French, Portugese, Thai, and maybe more) mapping program is free and runs under Windows 95,98, and NT.
"An accurate, yet easy-to-use planetarium program that provides an excellent way to learn about astronomy and explore the sky visible in the distant past, the present, and the far-off future." The program is for Windows XP, Vista, or 7, and works on 32- and 64-bit versions of those operating systems. The price is $34.95.
ISIS (Integrated Software for Imaging Spectrometers)
The United States Geological Survey's comprehensive, user-friendly, portable tool for processing, analyzing, and displaying remotely sensed image data.
Udo Mark's high-precision digital astronomical clock displays a variety of time information on a PC screen including date and time, day number, Julian Date and Modified Julian Date, TT, UT1, mean and apparent sidereal time and more. Here is information about the current release.
Registration for this shareware sky mapping program is $20.00.
Starry Night
A $70 - $325 sky simulator
This software package displays the sky in many ways. Source code is free, Unix and Windows executables are available for $80 and $160, respectively.

Astronomical Software Conferences

Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems Conferences (ADASS)
ADASS III(1993) DAO, Victoria, British Columbia [Proceedings]
ADASS IV(1994) STScI, Baltimore, Maryland [Proceedings]
ADASS V (1995) NOAO, Tucson, Arizona [Proceedings]
ADASS VI (1996) NRAO, Charlottesville, Virginia [Proceedings]
ADASS VII (1997) ESO, Garching/Munich, Bavaria, Germany [Proceedings]
ADASS VIII (1998) NCSA, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA [program with abstracts]
ADASS IX (1999) CFHT, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, October 3-6
ADASS X (2000) SAO, Boston, Massachusetts, November 12-15
ADASS XI (2001) CADC, Victoria, BC, Canada, September 30 - October 3
ADASS XII (2002) STScI, Baltimore, Maryland, October 13-16
ADASS XIII (2003) CDS, Strasbourg, France, October 12-15
ADASS XIV (2004) IPAC, Pasadena, California, October 24-27
ADASS XV (2005) San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, October 2-5
ADASS XVI (2006) NOAO, Tucson, Arizona, October 15-18
ADASS XVII (2007) Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, but in London, September 23-26
ADASS XVIII (2008) Quebec City, November 2-5
ADASS XIX (2009) Sapporo, Japan, October 4-8
ADASS XX (2010) Boston, Massachusetts, November 7-11
ADASS XXI (2011) Paris, France, November 6-10
ADASS XXII (2012) Champaign, Illinois, November 4-8
ADASS XXIII (2013) Waikoloa, Hawaii September 29 - October 3, 2013
ADASS XXIV (2014) Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 5-9, 2014
ADASS XXV (2015) Sydney, Australia, October 25-30, 2015
ADASS XXVI (2016) Trieste, Italy, October 16-20, 2016
ADASS XXVII (2017) Santiago, Chile, October, 2017
ADASS XXVIII (2018) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, November 11-15, 2018

Telescope Data Center

Last updated 7 March 2018 by
Jessica Mink