The Kapteyn Package is a collection of Python modules and applications developed by the computer group of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The purpose of the package is to provide tools for the development of astronomical applications with Python.
The package is suitable for both inexperienced and experienced users and developers and documentation is provided for both groups. The documentation also provides in-depth chapters about celestial transformations and spectral translations.
Some of the package’s features:
The following modules are included:
To install the Kapteyn Package, at least Python  2.4 and NumPy  (both with header files) are required. For using it, the availability of PyFITS  or Astropy  and matplotlib  is recommended. Windows users may also need to install Readline  or an equivalent package.
The Kapteyn Package and the example scripts can be downloaded via links on the package’s homepage: http://www.astro.rug.nl/software/kapteyn/
First unpack the downloaded .tar.gz or .zip file and go to the resulting directory. Then one of the following options can be chosen:
Install into your Python system (you usually need root permission for this):
python setup.py install
If you prefer not to modify your Python installation, you can create a directory under which to install the module e.g., mydir. Then install as follows:
python setup.py install --install-lib mydir
To use the package you then need to include mydir in your PYTHONPATH.
If you want to use this package only for GIPSY, you can install it as follows:
python setup.py install --install-lib $gip_exe
The GIPSY installation procedure normally does this automatically, so usually this will not be necessary.
An experimental installer for Microsoft Windows (together with other packages that the Kapteyn Package depends on) is also available. Currently only for Python 2.6 on 32-bit systems. http://www.astro.rug.nl/software/kapteyn_windows/
If you have Scisoft installed on your computer, it may interfere with the installation of the Kapteyn Package. To install it properly, disable the setup of Scisoft in your startup file (e.g. ~/.cshrc, .profile) by commenting it out.
There is a known problem with Apple’s llvm-gcc-4.2 compiler. This compiler is known to crash with an internal compiler error (Segmentation fault: 11) when WCSLIB routine wcserr.c is compiled. For this reason, setup.py tries to detect this compiler and use the clang compiler instead. If compilation still fails, one could try to prefix a shell variable definition to the install command like this:
export CC=CLANG; python setup.py install ...
The authors can be reached at:
Kapteyn Astronomical InstitutePostbus 800NL-9700 AV GroningenThe NetherlandsTelephone: +31 50 363 4073E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org