Data Analysis Toolbox

Translating Data into Knowledge

Together with the broader astronomical community, STScI is building the next generation of software data-analysis tools to facilitate the translation of data into scientific knowledge. The user-customizable JWST pipeline will produce science-ready data. The tools referenced on this page pick up where the pipeline leaves off, allowing interactive data analysis and model fitting. These tools are being built primarily in the Python programming language and in conjunction with the community-led Astropy Project. Software development in this area is entirely open-source and community involvement is encouraged at every level: from providing feature requests, to commenting on code and documentation, to providing code or algorithms. The JWST Data Analysis Tools Development Forum (JDox) provides an avenue for getting involved.  Links at the bottom of the page provide access to code and other resources. 

Screenshot of SpecView. user interface


The development effort covers a broad spectrum of software tools. On the one hand, “bread and butter” kinds of analyses need to be easy to accomplish. Examples include – circle a source on an image and measure its flux or point-spread function, or mask out the sources and fit a smooth sky background to this image. Such day-to-day tools will work with JWST data formats and provide facilities for dealing with units, coordinate systems, uncertainties and data-quality. On the other hand development is needed in areas where current tools in IRAF or elsewhere are not particularly mature – e.g. visualization and analysis of 3D IFU data, or fitting models to data using a combination of the rectified co-added frames for source detection and the un-rectified “raw” frames for the model fitting, to take advantage of the largely uncorrelated errors.

Software is available from github as it is being developed and will generally be released as Astropy affiliated packages when a stable version is available. By the time JWST launches, installation of a full suite of software will be possible. At the current time, interested users must install the packages individually.


For technical assistance, please contact the JWST Help Desk.


The NASA James Webb Space Telescope, developed in partnership with ESA and CSA, is operated by AURA’s Space Telescope Science Institute.