January 18, 2018


IRAF is the "Image Reduction and Analysis Facility". It is a software package that was once widely used in the astonomical community for data reduction and display.

There was a period of time when PyRAF replaced the CL as the "IRAF shell". But now PyRAF is deprecated and runs only on Python 2 (showing that it is getting little if any attention). And in fact, while I was writing this page, the PyRAF pages at StSci vanished or were relocated to some back alley somewhere.

My sources tell me that these days people use python packages such as NumPy, SciPy, and AstroPy in lieu of IRAF/PyRAF. I have been advised that "conda" is a python package manager that I would be well advised to use -- perhaps the moral equivalent of ruby gems.

Official support for IRAF from NOAO is pretty much a thing of the past. Whether their energies have diverted elsewhere or all of the cognizant people have retired is unknown to me.

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!