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The site was frozen as of 10/2022. Please use the GitHub site instead.

The IDL Astronomy User's Library

The IDL Astronomy Users Library is a central repository for low-level astronomy software written in the commercial language IDL. The Library is not meant to be an integrated package, but rather is a collection of procedures from which users can pick and choose (and possibly modify) for their own use. Submitted procedures are given a cursory testing, but are basically stored in the Library as submitted. Instrument-specific software is generally not included in the IDL Astronomy Library, but can be found at the Links to Other Astronomy and IDL related sites.

A versioned copy of the library is available on GitHub and can be downloaded with the command

* git clone git://

Individual procedures may be copied by browsing through a list of one-line descriptions. Changes to the contents of the Library up to 30-April-2022 are recorded in a news file. Changes since then are documented on the GitHub site indicated above.

Some routines in the IDL Astronomy Library make use of programs in the Coyote Graphics Library, which must be downloaded separately. Alternatively, one can download coyote_astron.tar.gz which contains a subset of the Coyote procedures needed for the Astronomy library. We also suggest downloading the MPFIT curve fitting routines developed by Craig Markwardt, although it is currently only used by one Astronomy Library routine (SOLVE_ASTRO).

Documentation is available describing the various options for working with FITS data in IDL.

The IDL Astronomy Library requires at least IDL V6.4.

The success of the IDL Astronomy User's Library depends on the willingness of users to give as well as take. Please inform Wayne Landsman of any possible contributions to the Library, programming bugs or documentation errors, or of relevant web sites.

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NASA Curator: Nick Collins
NASA Official: Theodore Gull
Last Updated: Sep-2022