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ascl:2009.002 DOI


This repository provides tools for the reduction of VLT/SPHERE data. The pipeline currently provides support for processing IRDIS dual-band imaging (DBI), IRDIS classical imaging (CI), IRDIS long-slit spectroscopy (LSS) and IFS data. IRDIS dual-polarimetry imaging (DPI) and ZIMPOL are not supported at the moment.

If you find a bug or want to suggest improvements, please create a ticket.


The pipeline requires official ESO pipeline for SPHERE to be installed and in your path. If the esorex command is not available the pipeline will output an error.

The package also relies on usual packages for data science and astronomy: numpy, scipy, pandas, matplotlib and astropy.


The easiest is to install sphere using pip:

pip install vlt-sphere

Otherwise your can download the current repository and install the package manually:

cd SPHERE-master/
python install


The package is not fully documented, but examples are provided.


Please cite the following reference if you use this pipeline in a scientific publication:

Or simply use the following Bibtex entry:

       author = {{Vigan}, Arthur},
        title = "{vlt-sphere: Automatic VLT/SPHERE data reduction and analysis}",
     keywords = {Software},
         year = 2020,
        month = sep,
          doi = {10.5281/zenodo.6563998},
          eid = {ascl:2009.002},
        pages = {ascl:2009.002},
archivePrefix = {ascl},
       eprint = {2009.002},
       adsurl = {},
      adsnote = {Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}

Moreover, the development of the SPHERE instrument has demanded a tremendous effort from many scientists, who have devoted several years of their life to design, build, test and commission the instrument. To recognize this work, we kindly ask you to cite the relevant instrumental papers in your scientific work. The reference papers for the instrument and its observing mode are:




We are grateful for your effort, and hope that these tools will contribute to your scientific work and discoveries. Please feel free to report any bug or possible improvement to the author(s).

Author and contributors

Arthur Vigan <>, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille / CNRS

With important contributions from:

  • Julien Milli (IPAG/UGA): Support of SPARTA files
  • Jean-Françoise Sauvage (ONERA): Support of SPARTA files
  • Dino Mesa (INAF/OAPD): IFS pre-processing
  • ESO personnel in general: SPHERE pipeline and calibration procedures

And small improvements, or bug reports with suggested fix from:

  • Wolfgang Brandner (@Rumpelstil)
  • Tomas Stolker (@tomasstolker)
  • Karthikeyan Singaravelan (@tirkarthi)
  • Chen Xie (@ChenXie-astro)