How to Use this Handbook

This handbook describes data from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and how to manipulate, calibrate, and analyze those data. The current version of the STIS Data Handbook is presented as an independent and self-contained document, extensively built on the contents of version 6 of the HST Data Handbook. Users are referred to a companion volume, Introduction to the HST Data Handbooks, for more general information about the details of acquiring data from the HST archive, HST file formats, and general purpose software for displaying and processing HST data. For detailed information on the capabilities of the instrument, and how to plan observations, users should refer to the STIS Instrument Handbook. For further information and timely updates, users should consult the STIS web page (, and the Document Archive link. In particular, the STScI Analysis Newsletters (STANs) highlight changes in code and calibration procedures and provide other instrument-related news. The Instrument Science Reports (ISRs) present in-depth characterizations of the instrument and detailed explanations of calibration code and procedures.

STSDAS and PyRAF are soon to be deprecated, and are now only recommended/supported where necessary. Most of the data processing described herein now uses Python available via the STScI AstroConda channel website.