What other kinds of archival data are part of NITARP?

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NITARP uses archival data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), the NASA Exoplanet Archive, the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) and other NASA archive holdings. Because this program started as a primarily Spitzer program, much of the information on the wiki right now pertains to Spitzer. This page contains (will contain) more information about all of these other archives.

NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED)

NED keeps a vetted list (read: checked by a human) of all sorts of Extragalactic objects. They ingest new data from the literature frequently. They are, of course, limited to extragalactic objects for the most part. http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/

NASA Exoplanet Archive

The NASA Exoplanet Archive keeps a highly vetted list (read: closely checked by many humans) of all sorts of stellar parameters, optimized for those targets being studied because they have planets or because they might have planets. They are limited to those kinds of sources, and as such, do not contain data on all stars. http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/

NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA)

IRSA is chartered to store and serve data (images, catalogs, and some spectra) from NASA's infrared and sub-millimeter missions. IRSA also develops unique, Web-based tools to extract the maximum science value from its data sets.

Traditionally, there are two primary means for retrieving data from the archive, by mission/data set, or by IRSA service, which we now describe.

By Mission or Data Set

From IRSA’s navigation bar, select Missions to view a list of all missions that have data served by IRSA. The associated search tools for specific data sets will be pre-populated with mission search parameters.

By IRSA Service

IRSA has various search services that provide astronomical data in different formats. Here is a brief description of each:

  • RADAR is an inventory service that searches all IRSA data using on an object name (such as "M51") or by entering a region in the sky using a set of coordinates (such as "289.3848 11.9674 eq").
  • Popular Catalog Search provides quick access to IRSA’s popular catalogs, including 2MASS, IRAS, MSX and Spitzer.
  • Cutouts This service returns small "cutouts" of a

user-specified size of image data sets archived at IRSA. Images are provided in FITS and JPEG formats and can be downloaded individually or in batches.

  • Mosaics are multiple images of large regions of the sky that are stitched together using the Montage software. There is both a downloadable client software, called Montage, as well as a Web-based service offered by IRSA.

Some specific data sets

There are also services designed for specific data sets, including:


  • 2MASS Image Services searches all full-resolution images in 2MASS data set -- commonly referred to as Atlas or Quicklook images. (For a general description of the 2MASS mission, read the Wikipedia entry.)
  • The Extended Sources Image Server returns composite "postage stamp" images of extended sources, and basic extended source catalog information. These images are derived from the full-resolution, highest-quality 2MASS Atlas/Quicklook images.


  • The Scanpi tool is an interactive tool for viewing, plotting and averaging the calibrated survey scans from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). Scanpi is useful for measuring the fluxes of extended, confused or faint sources, for diagnosing source extent, and for estimating local upper limits.


  • The Midcourse Space Experiment, or MSX, has an image service that serves MSX images, with the option of overlaying IRAS Point Source Catalog data and a Galactic coordinate grid.

Other data sets

  • There are many other data sets that are part of IRSA. For example, Spitzer's archive is part of IRSA, and the most recent publicly released data in IRSA are from WISE and Planck.

Things that look like the SHA

Once you master the SHA, you then automatically have the skill set for understanding other archives that look like the SHA. The software that is "under the hood" is being used to set up other archives, and this will increase over the next few years. The ones that are already doing this so far are: