[AstroPy] Python tool for quick and dirty telescopy archive searches

Peter Erwin erwin at mpe.mpg.de
Thu May 4 18:48:49 CDT 2006


I've been working on a Python-based tool which people on this list might
find useful.  It's basically a command-line program which simplifies
searching various public telescope archives to see if they might have data on a
particular astronomical object or part of the sky.  This includes the HST
and general MAST archive, as well as the ING, ESO, UKIRT, CFHT, and AAT
ground-based archives, and Data Release 4 (DR4) from the Sloan Digital Sky
Survey.  The NOAO Science Archive is also included, though it has very little
publically available data at this point.  (I hope to add searches of the Gemini
and Subaru archives in the future.)

The program won't *get* the data for you, of course, or even tell you very
much about it -- for that, you still need to visit the individual archive web
pages.  But it will save you lots of clicking and typing in web-page forms
if you just want to find out if there is *any* data available.

An example (searching within a 2-arcminute box centered on the planetary
nebula NGC 7027; searching on coordinates directly is also possible):

$ telarchive "ngc 7027" 2.0
         SIMBAD (France):  Found object coordinates: RA = 21 07 01.59, 
Dec = +42 14 10.2

Searching archives for NGC 7027 (RA = 21 07 01.59, dec = +42 14 
10.2), with search box =  2.0 arcmin...
         ESO Archive: No data found.
         HST Archive (at ESO): Data exists! ("A total of 85 were found")
                 -- 6 WFPC2, 24 WF, 1 PC, 13 NICMOS, 3 FOC, 25 STIS, 13 FOS
         UKIRT Archive: Data exists! ("A total of 517 were retrieved")
         AAT Archive: No data found.
         Sloan Digital Sky Survey (DR4) SQL Search: No data found.
         NOAO Science Archive: No data found.
         ING Archive: Data exists! ("A total of 577 were retrieved")
                 143 images, 391 spectra, 43 unclassified
                 JKT -- RBS (1), FWHL (2), AGBX (102);  INT -- WFC 
(9), PFCU (30), IDS (66), MES (17), FOS_1 (10);  WHT -- TAURUS_2 (5), 
unknown (43), ISIS_BLUE_ARM (159), UES (58), ISIS_RED_ARM (75)
         CFHT Archive: Data exists! ("A total of 213 records were retrieved")
         Multimission Archive at STScI (MAST): Data exists!
                 FUSE (2); IUE (34); COPERNICUS (1)

It's available as a gzipped tar file here:
There are installation instructions/suggestions in the README file.
(And feel free to email with questions or suggestions about it!)



Peter Erwin                   Max-Planck-Insitute for Extraterrestrial
erwin at mpe.mpg.de              Physics, Giessenbachstrasse
tel. +49 (0)89 30000 3695     85748 Garching, Germany
fax  +49 (0)89 30000 3495     http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~erwin

More information about the AstroPy mailing list