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4.3. Archives of Observational Data

As these will be discussed in more detail in the various chapters of this book dedicated to Internet resources in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, I list only a few URLs from which the user may start to dig for data of his/her interest.

Abstracts of sections of the book by [Egret & Albrecht (1995)] are available on-line at and provide links to several archives. The AstroWeb consortium offers a list of currently 129 records for ``Data and Archive Centers'' at STScI ( has been designated by NASA as a multi-mission archive centre, focussing on optical and UV mission data sets. It now plays a role analogous to HEASARC for high-energy data (see below) and IPAC ( for infra-red data. The latter are associated in the ``Astrophysics Data Centers Coordinating Council'' (ADCCC; The Canadian Astronomy Data Center (CADC; includes archives of the CFHT, JCMT and UKIRT telescopes on Hawaii. The ESO and ST-ECF Science Archive Facility at offers access to data obtained with the ``New Technology Telescope'' (NTT), and to the catalogue of spectroscopic plates obtained at ESO telescopes before 1984. The ``Hubble Data Archive'' at includes the HST archive, the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archive and the VLA FIRST survey. The La Palma database at contains most observations obtained with the Isaac Newton group of telescopes of RGO. At the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO; most data from CTIO and KPNO telescopes are now being saved, and are available by special permission from the Director. Data from several high-energy satellite missions may be retrieved from HEASARC (, and from LEDAS (Section 4.2). For results of the Space Astrometry Mission HIPPARCOS see or

Images from many surveys of the whole or most of the sky can be retrieved from the SkyView facility ( at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Documentation of these surveys is available at Overlays of these surveys with either contours from another survey or objects from a large set of object catalogues may be requested interactively.

Until late 1997 there was no tool which unified the access to the multitude of existing observatory archives. A serious approach to this goal has been made within the ``AstroBrowse'' project ( This resulted in the ``Starcast'' facility allowing one to find (and retrieve) relevant data (photometric, imaging, spectral or time series) on a given object or for a given region of sky, in any range of the electromagnetic spectrum from ground- or space-based observatories. The HEASARC ``AstroBrowser'' ( provides an even wider scope, including astronomical catalogues and VizieR at the same time. The `` Multimission Archive at STScI'' (MAST; currently combines the archive of HST, IUE, Copernicus, EUVE, UIT, plus that of the FIRST radio survey and the DSS images. Its interface with astronomical catalogues allows one to query e.g. which high-redshift QSOs have been observed with HST, or which Seyfert galaxies with IUE.

An ``Astronomy Digital Image Library'' (ADIL) is available from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at

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