The VISTA Program

VISTA is an interactive image and spectral reduction and analysis package developed at the Lick Observatory. It is a package which is designed to allow efficient reduction and analysis of astronomical observations.

Many other such packages exist. Some possible advantages of VISTA are that the routines are primarily memory-based, leading to relatively fast execution, routines are command-line driven using optional keywords for easy use, and a convenient display interface. Perhaps most importantly, it is relatively easy to add new commands/features into VISTA or to modify existing ones, once one becomes familiar with the programming structure. VISTA is programmed predominantly in FORTRAN. An introductory programmers guide to VISTA is available from

This is the manual for VISTA version 5.0, released July 1998. For information on how to obtain the VISTA package and/or how to install it on your system, check the URL or see Appendix A of this manual.

We wish to note that no one officially supports Vista, so we cannot guarantee any of the results. All problems, comments, etc. should be addressed to the Vista distributor (, and, although we cannot guarantee a response, we generally try to help.

The manual for VISTA is fairly extensive, with many examples for commands. Many sections of the manual give examples of procedures, showing how a particular command can be combined with others to create common data-reduction operations.