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AstroLib Project Page

Astrolib is an astronomical utility library for Python analogous to the ASTRON library for IDL. There's a (mostly inactive) wiki that includes discussion of its design philosophy, requirements, envisioned components, etc.

Astrolib presently has six active components:

  • asciidata , to handle (read/modify/write) ASCII tables

AstroAsciiData is a Python module to handle ASCII tables. Features:

  • Imports all reasonably well-formed Ascii tables
  • Easy creation and manipulation of tables, columns, rows and attached comments
  • Retains formatting of data values
  • Support for SExtractor style header
  • Column sorting
  • Interchangeable comment character, column delimiter and null value
  • Data export to Numpy/Numarray?, FITS, HTML and LaTex?

  • pysynphot, an intended replacement for synphot

Pysynphot is a synthetic photometry software package suitable for either library or interactive use. Intended as a modern-language successor to the IRAF/STSDAS synphot package, it provides improved algorithms that address known shortcomings in synphot, and its object-oriented design is more easily extensible than synphot's task-oriented approach. Written in Python, it will run under PyRAF, and a backwards compatibility mode is provided that will recognize all spectral and throughput tables, obsmodes, and spectral expressions used by synphot, to facilitate the transition for legacy code.


  • no IRAF dependencies
  • improved precision arithmetic
  • improved handling of wavelength sampling
  • extensive graphics capabilities available using matplotlib/pylab


  • v0.7, included in the release of stsci_python 2.9. This version was demonstrated at STScI on 12 November 2009.
  • the associated throughput files necessary for full functionality


Earlier versions:

  • the v0.55 version, complete with all data needed for full functionality, and two demo scripts. This version was demonstrated at ADASS 2008 on 4 November 2008, Quebec City.

  • Previous release v0.3 (12 Feb 2007)

  • tfit , for photometry of mixed-resolution data sets (a software project by the GOODS team)

TFIT is presently an inactive project.

  • pywcs

pywcs is a set of routines for handling the FITS World Coordinate System (WCS) standard. It is a thin wrapper around the high- and mid-level interfaces of Dr. Mark Calabretta's WCSLIB.

Contact: Michael Droettboom

  • vo.table

Experimental code to read in a VOTABLE XML file and convert the data to a Numpy recarray.


  • Numpy 1.0 or later (though 1.3 or later is recommended for a more user-friendly recarray interface). Versions prior to 1.5 have a bug handling complex numbers.
  • pyfits 2.2 or later is required

Contact: Michael Droettboom

SVN repository

Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on 06/17/10 10:34:39