PhAst: download
PhAst is distributed as both source code and a compiled binary. Only one is required for operation. If you're not sure what to do, you probably want the binary version and the IDL virtual machine. The manual provides instructions for installation, explanation of features, and tips for operation. Please read it before requesting assitance with PhAst.

The current release

The current PhAst release is 1.41.

Obtaining PhAst

In order to use PhAst, you must either obtain a copy of the binaty (executable) or download the source code and related components. The source code approach is more complicated, but has several distinct advantages for the advanecd user. These include making your own code modifications, running PhAst without the IDL Virtual Machine splash screen, and calling PhAst from within your procedures. If you do not have an IDL license, you must use the binary.


The PhAst manual can be obtained in PDF form here. It contains detailed installation instructions and extensive documentation of the program.

A zipped directory containing a sample image (both raw and calibrated), calibration images, configuration file, and SExtractor/SCAMP/missFITS configuration files is available here.

Binary method

The PhAst binary is located here.

To install the binary, unzip the file in the location you want to install PhAst.

To update the PhAst binary, simply replace the old one with the new one.

Running the binary requires the IDL Virtual Machine, available here. You may need to create an account. The packages listed in the Optional packages section below are still necessary if you desire that functionality.

Source method

To use the source code, the following is required: To install PhAst for the first time, unzip the file in the location where you want to the program files to be located. Start IDL on the command line and type 'phast_install' to complete the process. This will allow you to call PhAst from anywhere on your system.

To update PhAst, unzip the file in the directory where PhAst is currently installed. This should replace all the nessecary files. Start IDL on the command line and type 'phast_install' to check that you have all the latest libraries.

Optional packages

The following packages are optional, but required for many PhAst functions:


PhAst is known to work for image viewing under Linux, OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) OSC 10.7 (Lion), and Windows 7. It is known to work for image analysis under Linux, OSX 10.6, and OSX 10.7. Since a number of PhAst's more advanced features require the command-line packages SExtractor, SCAMP, and missFITS, this functionality may not be available in Windows.