Introduction to IRAF

About This Document:

This is a quick introduction to IRAF (the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility). IRAF is "a general purpose software system for the reduction and analysis of astronomical data" written by IRAF group at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO). I'm attempting to write this tutorial in a general sense to be a good intro for students in an undergraduate course in observational astronomy, or for students getting started in research who need to learn IRAF. This tutorial covers just the very basics of using IRAF, my own experience with IRAF is limited to a few particular types of reductions, so this is far from comprehensive. However given the tools learned here, you should be able to learn most of the more sophisticated packages and tools.

Table of Contents:

  1. Configuring and Starting IRAF
    1. Installing IRAF
    2. Using the mkiraf Command
    3. Opening an xgterm
    4. Editing Your File
    5. Starting IRAF
  2. Interacting with the CL
    1. UNIX Commands and IRAF Tasks
    2. Working with Tasks
    3. Changing Task Parameters at the CL
    4. Changing Task Parameters Using epar
  3. Ximtool and Displaying Images
    1. How To Display Images
    2. Understanding Your Image Display: Display Range
    3. Understanding Your Image Display: The Transfer Function
  4. Miscellaneous Tips for Working with the CL
    1. Input Lists
    2. CL History
    3. The apropos Task
    4. Image Subsections
    5. CL Scripts
  5. Basic Reductions for Imaging Data
    1. Image Reduction Overview
    2. Combining the Darks
    3. Subtracting Darks
    4. Combining the Flats
    5. Normalizing the Flats
    6. Dividing by the Flats
    7. Aligning Multiple Images for Stacking
    8. Combining Multiple Images
  6. Basic Reductions for Spectroscopic Data
    1. Spectral Reduction Overview
    2. Define the Dispersion Axis
    3. Preparing APALL
    4. Running APALL: Defining the Aperture
    5. Running APALL: Fitting the Background
    6. Running APALL: Defining the Trace
    7. Running APALL: Extracting the Spectrum
    8. Generate a Wavelength Calibration Solution
    9. Associate the Wavelength Solution to the Image
    10. Apply the Wavelength Solution
    11. Use SPLOT to View the Calibrated Spectrum

Copyright © Josh Walawender