Photutils is an affiliated package of Astropy to provide tools for detecting and performing photometry of astronomical sources. It is an open source (BSD licensed) Python package. Bug reports, comments, and help with development are very welcome.

User Documentation


Like much astronomy software, Photutils is an evolving package. The developers make an effort to maintain backwards compatibility, but at times the API may change if there is a benefit to doing so. If there are specific areas you think API stability is important, please let us know as part of the development process!

Reporting Issues

If you have found a bug in Photutils please report it by creating a new issue on the Photutils GitHub issue tracker.

Please include an example that demonstrates the issue that will allow the developers to reproduce and fix the problem. You may be asked to also provide information about your operating system and a full Python stack trace. The developers will walk you through obtaining a stack trace if it is necessary.

Photutils uses a package of utilities called astropy-helpers during building and installation. If you have any build or installation issue mentioning the astropy_helpers or ah_bootstrap modules please send a report to the astropy-helpers issue tracker. If you are unsure, then it’s fine to report to the main Photutils issue tracker.


Like the Astropy project, Photutils is made both by and for its users. We accept contributions at all levels, spanning the gamut from fixing a typo in the documentation to developing a major new feature. We welcome contributors who will abide by the Python Software Foundation Code of Conduct.

Photutils follows the same workflow and coding guidelines as Astropy. The following pages will help you get started with contributing fixes, code, or documentation (no git or GitHub experience necessary):

Citing Photutils

If you use Photutils, please consider citing the package via its Zenodo record. If you just want the latest release, cite this (follow the link on the badge and then use one of the citation methods on the right):

If you want to cite an earlier version, you can search for photutils on Zenodo. Then cite the Zenodo DOI for whatever version(s) of Photutils you are using.