Ureka: a distribution of Python & IRAF software for astronomy

Authors: Turner, James, Gemini Observatory; Slocum, Christine, Space Telescope Science Institute; Sienkiewicz

Track: Posters


As astronomical data processing expands from our historical platforms into modern Python applications, users are faced with installing and maintaining large numbers of heterogeneous dependencies. A handful of scientific Python distributions make installing key packages easy, but don't cater for specific needs such as integration with IRAF. We have therefore just released a new astronomical software distribution for Linux and OSX, known as Ureka.

Ureka is based around STScI Python and its dependencies, notably Python, NumPy, IRAF, SciPy, AstroPy, Matplotlib and Tk. It also contains data reduction packages for Gemini, HST, JWST and other observatories, along with several dozen complementary packages and libraries such as display tools, testing and documentation tools and database access wrappers.

Our priority is to make our platform accessible to ordinary users, without the need for administrative privileges or substantial in-house support. We have not included every tool available for astronomy, nor tried to satisfy every user's preferred installation scheme, but we do ensure that everyone has a way to use our tools and those of the wider scientific Python community. Unlike most other scientific distributions, Ureka comes with basic provision for adding and updating (or overriding) some of its component packages.

The lead author of this poster will be available this week to answer your questions and help you install Ureka on your laptop.