Hectospec Reduction Software
Doug Mink, 2009-June-12

Telescope Data Center
Hectospec Image
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You can reduce Hectospec data using IRAF tools, but we have written a number of tasks which make it easier. To follow the process described on our Reduction page, you will need the following external IRAF packages:

Hectospec Package

These tasks were written especially for reducing Hectospec and Hectochelle data. The default parameters are usually optimized for Hectospec. The sky subtraction task is becoming more portable, but for now, users will have to consult us when they have problems with it.

Here is the modification history of this package.

The package can be downloaded via FTP from
or via HTTP from

Precompiled Redhat Linux and Solaris binaries for IRAF 2.12.2a through 2.14.1 are at
or, via HTTP,


or, via HTTP,

If you are using the Unix ksh pipeline, grab kfunc.tar.gz and mktime.tar.gz, and make them in your search path.

MSCRED Package

The MSCRED external package is used to reduce CCD mosaic data in which the data is in the mosaic MEF data format.

Check http://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/ftp/iraf/extern-v212/ for the latest release. The needed files are usually found in the mscred/ subdirectory.

To process Hectospec data, you need our mscdb entries. Here is the latest mscdb, with both ours and NOAO's entries via ftp:

and via http:

Rvsao Package

While this package was originally written to compute radial velocities and redshifts, the sumspec task turned out to be very useful for manipulating files composed of stacks of spectra, such as those extracted from a multi-fiber spectrograph image. The emission-line-fitting task, emsao, can be used to measure emission lines for sky scaling (we use the OH emission line at 8399 Angstroms), while the cross-correlation task, xcsao can be used to check for contamination of supposed sky spectra by galaxy or star spectra, using our standard galaxy emission and absorption templates, femtemp97.fits and ztemp.fits.

Here is the modification history of this package.

You can download the package via anonymous FTP from


or via HTTP from


Precompiled Redhat Linux and Solaris binaries for IRAF 2.12.2a are at
or, via HTTP


or, via HTTP

The templates we use for XCSAO are in rvsao$Templates/

WCSTools Package

This package interfaces IRAF to a package of tools which is used mostly for header manipulation, though it does lots of other things to images.

Here is the modification history of this package.

Source code in the IRAF package directory structure is at

or, via HTTP

SVDFit Package

This package was originally written to create, fit, and remove a multi-component background model from fiber spectra. Instead of creating a model, we use its fitting and removing task, svdres, in the hectospec task skyproc to remove a sky spectrum made by combining several sky spectra from nearby fibers.

Here is the modification history of this package.

IRAF SPP source code for the latest version is available at

or, via HTTP

Our singular value decomposition sky subtraction technique, which is not exactly what we use now, is described in a paper published in the April 20, 2000 issue of The Astropysical Journal Letters, which is available through the ADS at


Precompiled Redhat Linux and Solaris binaries for IRAF 2.12.2a are at
or, via HTTP

Starbase, an ASCII relational database for UNIX

Starbase is a set of filter programs and an ascii table format for UNIX. The current release contains over 95 programs for manipulating data tables. The ascii database concepts are outlined in the book Unix Relational Database Management by Manis, Schaffer and Jorgensen. This implementation has been written by John Roll at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and contains many extensions for use with scientific and astrophysical data sets.

You only need it if you are using the Unix-level ksh pipeline programs, especially the sky subtraction task, skyproc.

Source code and binaries for several operating systems are available at http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~john/starbase/Download.html.

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