Fork me on GitHub
A plot generated by APLpy using 2MASS data


APLpy (the Astronomical Plotting Library in Python) is a Python module aimed at producing publication-quality plots of astronomical imaging data in FITS format. The module uses Matplotlib, a powerful and interactive plotting package. It is capable of creating output files in several graphical formats, including EPS, PDF, PS, PNG, and SVG.

Main features

  • Make plots interactively or using scripts
  • Show grayscale, colorscale, and 3-color RGB images of FITS files
  • Generate co-aligned FITS cubes to make 3-color RGB images
  • Make plots from FITS files with arbitrary WCS (e.g. position-velocity)
  • Slice multi-dimensional FITS cubes
  • Overlay any number of contour sets
  • Overlay markers with fully customizable symbols
  • Plot customizable shapes like circles, ellipses, and rectangles
  • Overlay ds9 region files
  • Overlay coordinate grids
  • Show colorbars, scalebars, and beams
  • Customize the appearance of labels and ticks
  • Hide, show, and remove different contour and marker layers
  • Pan, zoom, and save any view as a full publication-quality plot
  • Save plots as EPS, PDF, PS, PNG, and SVG

To request features, please leave a request here.

Getting Started

Want to get started? Then follow the instructions on the page, then check out the Tutorial page on how to make some great and simple plots.

Reporting problems

If you run into problems with APLpy, please leave a bug report here.

Source code

If you're gutsy and know what you're doing with Python you can download the bleeding-edge source code with Git.

git clone git:// APLpy

Acknowledging the use of APLpy

If you use APLpy for a publication, you can use the following acknowledgment:

This research made use of APLpy, an open-source plotting package for Python (Robitaille and Bressert, 2012)

where (Robitaille and Bressert, 2012) is a citation to this ADS/ASCL entry.

If you have any questions about using APLpy, please open an issue on GitHub.