CMB Tools

We provide links to a number of useful tools for CMB and Astronomy in general. Use these tools at your own risk; LAMBDA has not tested them and therefore can assume no responsibility for problems arising from their use.


  • CMB polarization band-power plotting tool - an IDL tool and dataset for making summary plots of CMB polarization bandpowers. Odegard
  • Cosmological Footprints Tool - a Python tool to visualize where many different CMB and large-scale structure survey regions. Miller
  • A web-based interface for CAMB.
  • CMB Simulations - High-resolution, full-sky microwave temperature simulations including secondary anisotropies.
  • SkyViewer - A LAMBDA-developed OpenGL-based program to display HEALPix-based skymaps stored in FITS format files. Phillips
  • Power Spectrum Simulator - A flash-based educational tool showing how the power spectrum varies with input parameters.
  • WMAP Effective Frequency Calculator - A tool that calculates the effective frequencies of the five WMAP frequency bands.
  • WMAP Likelihood Software - A software library used by the WMAP team to compute Fisher and Master matrices and to compute the likelihoods of various models. This is the same software found on the WMAP products list; more information may be found here.
  • WMAPViewer - A LAMBDA-developed web-based CMB map viewing tool using a technology similar to that found on maps.google.com. Phillips

Likelihood Software

CMB Tools

  • CAMB - Code for Anisotropies in the Microwave Background. Fortran 90 anisotropy code. LAMBDA provides a web-based interface for this tool. Lewis and Challinor
  • CLASS - Cosmic Linear Anisotropy Solving System. C anisotropy code. Lesgourgues
  • CMBACT - Calculates the cmb power spectrum from active sources such as cosmic strings. Pogosian
  • CosmoHammer - Framework to do cosmological parameter estimation with emcee. Akeret and Seehars
  • CosmoMC - A Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo engine for exploring cosmological parameter space. Incorporates CAMB. Written in Fortran 2008. Lewis and Bridle
  • CosmoRec - A code to solve the recombination problem. Similar to RECFAST and HyRec. Chluba
  • CosmoSpec - A fast calculation of the cosmological recombination radiation. Chluba
  • CosmoTherm - The cosmological thermalization code. Chluba
  • HEALPix - A spherical sky pixelization standard. Górski et al.
  • HEALPy - A Python wrapper for HEALPix. Maintained separately from HEALPix. Rosset, Zonca, Reinecke, and Singer
  • HyRec - A code to solve the recombination problem. Similar to RECFAST and CosmoRec. Ali-Haimoud and Hirata
  • Monte Python - A Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo engine for exploring cosmological parameter space. Incorporates CLASS. Written in Python. Audren
  • PICO - Integrates with CAMB and/or CosmoMC for cosmological parameter estimation using machine learning. Wandelt and Fendt
  • PolSpice - A version of Spatially Inhomogenous Correlation Estimator with polarization support added. Challinor, Chon, Colombi, Hivon, Prunet, and Szapudi
  • Python Sky Model - Software for simulating the Galactic microwave sky
  • RECFAST - Software to calculate the recombination history of the Universe. Seager, Sasselov, and Scott
  • SZPack - A High precision computation of the SZ effect. Chluba
  • Hammurabi - C++ code for simulating polarized Galactic synchrotron emission. Waelkens, Jaffe, Reinecke, Kitaura, and Enßlin

General Cosmology Tools

  • AlterBBN - C code which computes the abundances of the elements predicted by Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). Arbey
  • AstroPy - A community effort to develop a single core package for Astronomy in Python. Astropy Collaboration
  • CFITSIO - A library of C and Fortran routines for reading and writing data in the FITS format.
  • CosmoloPy - A cosmology package for Python. Kramer
  • Cosmology Routine Library - A set of Fortran routines that are useful for computing various quantities in cosmology. Komatsu
  • Emcee - A pure Python implementation of Goodman and Weare's affine invariant Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) ensemble sampler. Foreman-Mackey
  • IDL Astro - The IDL Astronomy Users Library.
  • Log-Normal Galaxies - Codes for generating log-normal realizations of galaxies in redshift space, and computing the monopole, quadrupole, and hexadecapole power spectra. Agrawal, Makiya, Chiang, Jeong, Saito, and Komatsu, ADS
  • PArthENoPE - Public Algorithm Evaluating the Nucleosynthesis of Primordial Elements. Fortran77 code which computes the abundances of elements predicted by BBN. Pisanti
  • Conversion Utilities - A small collection of astronomical conversion utilities.
  • Calculators - A list of links to calculators.

Educational Resources

LAMBDA collects educational materials from instructors willing to share their cosmology-related tools and student labs with the community at large. If you have something you would like to contribute, please contact us!


  • CMBEASY - C++ anisotropy code implementation by Edoardo Carlesi. Contains a parameter likelihood package. Based on the work of Michael Doran, Astro-ph / Astro-ph
  • CMBFast - Fortran anisotropy code. This tool is not being actively developed and is no longer avaiable for download; see CAMB instead. Seljak and Zaldarriaga
  • CMBview - A Mac OS X program for viewing HEALPix-format CMB data on an OpenGL-rendered sphere. Portsmouth
  • CosmoNet - Accelerated cosmological parameter estimation using Neural Networks. Auld, Bridges, and Hobson
  • GLESP - Gauss-Legendre sky pixelization package. Doroshkevich, et al.
  • GSM - Predicted all-sky maps at any frequency from 10 MHz to 100 GHz. de Oliveira-Costa.
  • IGLOO - A sky pixelization package. Crittenden and Turok
  • SpiCE - Spatially Inhomogenous Correlation Estimator. Szapudi et al.

This collection of tools can only be extended and improved with your input! Please feel free to send us suggestions and comments.

A service of the HEASARC and of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC
Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
HEASARC Director: Dr. Alan P. Smale
LAMBDA Director: Dr. Eric R. Switzer
NASA Official: Dr. Eric R. Switzer
Web Curator: Mr. Michael R. Greason