Iraf Guide

Before you get started using this guide, I suggest reading this Iraf Tutorial on CCD reduction from the University of New Mexico. It will help you understand a lot of the concepts behind the IRAF commands, which can help if something goes wrong. This guide is intended to address the needs of those working with the Brackett and Table Mountain Observatories, and will deal with manipulating fits files.

Getting Started: Openning the Program
Further Reading
Reducing CCD Images with IRAF: Combining Bias Images
Combining Flats
Arithmetic Operations with imarith
Reducing CCD Images Using imarith
CCD Reduction with ccdproc: Changing Fits Headers
Using ccdproc
A Note on Errors
Aperture Photometry with Iraf: Photometry with Imexamine
Photometry with daofind
Creating DS9 Region Files
Instructions for using Phot
Running Phot in Batch Mode
Running Phot in Interactive Mode
Photometry Using Point Spread Functions: Preparation for Running a Psf Fit
Using the Psf Command
Using the Nstar Command
Using the Substar Command
Preparing the Psf Fit for Allstar
Using the Allstar Command

Getting Started

To start using IRAF, follow these steps. You will only have to do this once, ever.

  1. Inside your home directory, type mkdir iraf. This will create a directory titled "iraf", where you can start the program.
  2. Type cd iraf to move into your iraf directory.
  3. Type mkiraf to make an iraf login for yourself.
From now on, when you want to start IRAF, you will have to move into your iraf directory so that the program will detect your login file.

Opening the Program

Enter your iraf directory and type in the following commands:

xgterm & opens the IRAF command window
ds9 & opens DS9, which IRAF will use to display image files when you ask it to

Now move into the IRAF command window:

cl logs you in
If an error occurs, make sure that you have started the program from you iraf directory
Once you are logged in, you can run various packages and tasks. It is important that you open the correct packages for certain commands, or else they will not run.
bye exits a package
lo logs you out of IRAF once you have reached the cl prompt.
exit leaves the program.
help command_or_package brings up information about any command or package

Further Reading

Photometry Documentation from IRAF website