This software


This software requires a python distribution that includes numpy and other packages that support scientific work with python. The easiest way to get these is to download and install the Anaconda python distribution. Note that the Anaconda distribution includes astropy.

Install the way you install most python software:

pip install msumastro

followed (optionally) by:

pip install astropysics

only if you need the Feder Observatory stuff. You do not need astropysics for the image management features likely to be of broadest interest.


Install this software by downloading a copy from the github page for the code. On Mac/Linux do this by typing, in a terminal in the directory in which you want to run the code:

git clone

Navigate to the directory in which you downloaded it and run:

python develop

With this setup any changes you make to the source code will be immediately available to you without additional steps.



This software has only been tested in python 2.7.x. It does not work in 3.x.


Most of the requirements below will be taken care of automatically if you install msumastro with pip or as described above. The exceptions are numpy and scipy

Python packages


Nothing will work without these:

  • numpy (included with anaconda): If you need to install it, please see the instructions at the SciPy download site. Some functionality may require SciPy.

  • astropy (included with anaconda): If you need to install it, do so with:

    pip install astropy

Required for some features

Most of the header patching functionality requires astropysics:

Required to build documentation

You only need to install the packages below if you want to build the documentation yourself:

(mostly) Non-python software:


There is one piece of python software you need for and for now you need to install it manually:

pip install pyfits

If you want to be able to use the script Adding astrometry: you need a local installation of and sextractor (the latter works better than the source detection built into The easiest way to do that (on a Mac) is with homebrew. Once you have installed homebrew the rest is easy (unless it fails, of course…):

  • brew tap homebrew/science (only needs to be done once; connects the set of homebrew science formulae)

  • brew install sextractor (note this can take a a few minutes)

  • brew install --env=std [Note the option --env=std. It is necessary to ensure homebrew sees your python installation.]