skip to content

This site is 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.

The entire contents of the Library can be downloaded in a tar file or in a .zip file from the the download site . Additional software, not included in the tar files, is available in a contrib directory. Individual procedures can be copied by browsing through a list of one-line descriptions. Changes to the contents of the Library are recorded in a news file. A versioned copy of the library is available on GitHub, and one can also be download the Library with the command
git clone git://

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. However, separate (frozen) versions of the Library that work with earlier versions of IDL are available at the /old download site.

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.

FirstGov logo + NASA Privacy, Security, Notices NASA Curator: Nick Collins
NASA Official: Theodore Gull
Last Updated: Sep-2022