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NOVAS is an integrated package of subroutines and functions for computing various commonly needed quantities in positional astronomy. The package can provide, in one or two subroutine or function calls, the instantaneous coordinates of any star or planet in a variety of coordinate systems. At a lower level, NOVAS also supplies astrometric utility transformations, such as those for precession, nutation, aberration, parallax, and the gravitational deflection of light. The computations are accurate to better than one milliarcsecond. The NOVAS package is an easy-to-use facility that can be incorporated into data reduction programs, telescope control systems, and simulations. The U.S. parts of The Astronomical Almanac are prepared using NOVAS. Three editions of NOVAS are available: Fortran, C, and Python.
PyFITS provides an interface to FITS formatted files in the Python scripting language and PyRAF, the Python-based interface to IRAF. It is useful both for interactive data analysis and for writing analysis scripts in Python using FITS files as either input or output. PyFITS is a development project of the Science Software Branch at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
PyFITS has been deprecated. Please see Astropy.
Astropy provides a common framework, core package of code, and affiliated packages for astronomy in Python. Development is actively ongoing, with major packages such as PyFITS, PyWCS, vo, and asciitable already merged in. Astropy is intended to contain much of the core functionality and some common tools needed for performing astronomy and astrophysics with Python.