Data reduction / Software

This is a non-exhaustive list of software/documentation provided by the NOIRLab Programs and Facilities, as well as other community resources available online.

NOIRLab IRAF - Image Reduction and Analysis Facility

The Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) is a general-purpose software system for the reduction and analysis of scientific data. Its development started in 1984 at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) in Tucson, Arizona. As of January 2024, the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) and the US National Gemini Office (US NGO) launched the new NOIRLab IRAF v2.18. You can find more information at

Community Science & Data Center

CSDC/MSO Pipelines

The NOIRLab Data Handbook: A guide to accessing and using data from major NOAO instruments. The Data Handbook describes the formats and characteristics of raw data, and the pipeline processing applied to all recent and current observations and its data products. It also describes how to access these data in the NOIRLab Science Archive. this version includes:

  • Introduction to NOIRLab data: holdings, formats, the NOIRLab Science Archive, data use policies
  • Mosaic cameras
  • NEWFIRM infrared imager
  • Dark Energy Camera
  • C/KOSMOS spectrographs

NOIRLab File-naming conventions: A guide to file names in the NOIRLab archive, addressing both raw and pipeline-reduced data products.

Gemini Observatory

Phase I Tool (PIT): Proposal preparation and submission
Observing Tool (OT): Definition and planning of observations
Data Reduction Software: PyRAF/IRAF/DRAGONS packages for facility instruments
GMMPS: Mask making software for GMOS and Flamingos-2
DRAGONS on GitHub: Development version of the code
US NGO resources page: Additional resources for Gemini from the US NGO
GMOS Cookbook: Guide to data reduction and calibration for PIs and Archive users

Mid-Scale Observatories

COSMOS/KOSMOS Spectrographs: Documentation and data reduction
SOAR Goodman Spectrograph: Data reduction pipeline
SOAR Goodman Spectrograph Live Data Reduction Pipeline
SOAR GitHub page: Other software and documentation

Other Community Resources

Astropy: Community-based Python astronomy software project
AstroConda: STScI astronomy software distribution
CFITSIO: FITS Library and compression tools
FPACK: Routines used for compressing and uncompressing FITS data stored in the NOIRLab Science Archive
DS9: Image display tool from SAO
STILTS: Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library Tool Set
TOPCAT: Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
WCSTOOLS: Image header utilities

Updated on January 10, 2024, 2:50 pm