Not sure that this is the correct place to ask this question, but here goes.

I am trying to find tools to accumulate image data (preferably in FITS format) on a given (RA, Dec)-coordinate of sky. Right now there are several image services that offer cutouts, for example:

  • irsa.ipac.caltech.edu holds data from Spitzer, Planck, WMAP, IRAS, WISE
  • hla.stsci.edu holds Hubble Space Telescope data
  • skyserver.sdss.org/dr7/en/tools/chart/list.asp holds SDSS data
  • etc.

I wonder if anyone has written any code for accumulating these images given an argument of RA and Dec? Or if they can point me in the right direction of tools that they know exist? Any help would be appreciated.


1 Answer 1


Aladin is a good way to do visualization from multiple catalogs. MAST also offers a cross-mission search.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the recommendation. Unfortunately Aladin does not make it easy to generate files to do science with, and doesn't seem to take multiple RA and Dec arguments. I should have mentioned in my initial question: I would like to be able to hand over a file of many RA and Dec arguments and have files returned to me for each coordinate... $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2014 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ If you just want to download the files, you can use MAST to search from an uploaded file (archive.stsci.edu/xcorr.php?form=fuf) or script it with GET requests (archive.stsci.edu/vo/mast_services.html). $\endgroup$
    – Aaron
    Sep 15, 2014 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! This gets me the closest to my goal so far. For anyone interested, the script most resembling what I need is Example 1 here. @Aaron I wonder if the IRSA services have similar options to this? $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2014 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ In fact, I just found something like it: irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/docs/program_interface/api_images.html $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2014 at 20:12

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