There is some example data to download in addition to the code, including spectra from Keck DEIMOS, Magellan IMACS and HST-WFC3. It is recommended that you play with this data if you are getting started with the program. These examples will also be helpful to understand the expected data formatting.

Specpro version 3.0 - last updated 02/19/12

Example data

Version 3.0 adds a number of keywords and features aimed at improving the program's handling of near-IR and low-resolution spectra, in addition to other small improvements. Changes are described in the revision history.

User Manual

Revision History

If you download the program and want to be notified of new releases, fixes, etc., you can sign up for the mailing list here.

Installation Notes

The IDL Astronomy User's Library, maintained at NASA/GSFC by Wayne Landsman, is required to run SpecPro. If you don't have it you will have to install it first.

The automated cross-correlation capability of SpecPro requires that you have the IDL routines,, and, written by Craig Markwardt. If you do not yet have these installed, they can be found here.

The steps to getting SpecPro running are as follows:

  1. First download and unpack the code to some location on your machine. Under the top directory called specpro you should have the directories code, templates and external. The source code and two modified DEEP2 pipeline routines are in the code directory. The templates directory contains galaxy template files as well as lists of emission and absorption features. The external directory contains routines written by others that SpecPro borrows for automated cross-correlation against spectral templates. Some users will have versions of these routines installed already, but we provide the option of using these (tested) versions with the SpecPro program.

  2. Add the code directory to the environment variable IDL_PATH. Suppose that the full path to the code directory on your computer is /home/usr/specpro/code. Then add the following line to your .cshrc login file: 

    setenv IDL_PATH :+/home/usr/specpro/code:$IDL_PATH

    If you are using the bash shell, then the equivalent line (to add to the .bashrc login file) would be: 

    export IDL_PATH="/home/usr/specpro/code:$IDL_PATH"

    Note: If the IDL_PATH variable is being set for the first time in your login file, you can just do: 

    setenv IDL_PATH /home/usr/specpro/code

  3. To use the external routines distributed with SpecPro (recommended), add the external directory to the IDL_PATH variable as well by adding the following line to the login file or typing it at the command line: 

    setenv IDL_PATH :+/home/usr/specpro/external:$IDL_PATH

    The equivalent line for bash is: 

    export IDL_PATH="/home/usr/specpro/external:$IDL_PATH"

    See the README file in the external directory for an overview of the routines provided. If you have all of the routines installed already you can probably skip this step.

  4. Create an environment variable called SPVIEW indicating the location of the template files. Suppose that the full path to the templates directory is /home/usr/specpro/templates. To create the environment variable, add the following line to your .cshrc login file:

    setenv SPVIEW /home/usr/specpro/templates

    The equivalent line for bash is: 

    export SPVIEW=/home/usr/specpro/templates

Once these steps have been completed, start a terminal, go to the deimos_example directory, start IDL, and at the command line type:


The program should launch showing the DEIMOS spectrum, stamp images, and SED. If this is successful, you might consider starting the tutorial, or just playing around to get familiar with the interface.

One final note: for the colors to be properly displayed, you must have "device, decomposed=1" for your IDL session. This is the default setting, but if you don't see colors, you probably are using the "device, decomposed=0" setting. Just type "device, decomposed=1" at the IDL command line to fix this.