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Accessing Online Astronomical Data

Astroquery is an astropy affiliated package that contains a collection of tools to access online Astronomical data. Each web service has its own sub-package. For example, to interface with the SIMBAD website, use the simbad sub-package:

>>> from astroquery.simbad import Simbad
>>> theta1c = Simbad.query_object('tet01 Ori C')
>>> theta1c.pprint()
   MAIN_ID          RA           DEC      ... COO_QUAL COO_WAVELENGTH     COO_BIBCODE
------------- ------------- ------------- ... -------- -------------- -------------------
* tet01 Ori C 05 35 16.4637 -05 23 22.848 ...        A              O 2007A&A...474..653V

Installation and Requirements

Astroquery works with Python 2.7 and 3.3 or later. As an astropy affiliate, astroquery requires astropy version 0.4 or later.

astroquery uses the requests module to communicate with the internet. BeautifulSoup and html5lib' are needed for HTML parsing for some services. The keyring module is also required for accessing services that require a login. These can all be installed using pip.

The latest version of astroquery can be conda installed:

$ conda install -c astropy astroquery

or pip installed:

$ pip install astroquery

and the 'bleeding edge' master version:

$ pip install

or cloned and installed from source:

$ # If you have a github account:
$ git clone
$ # If you do not:
$ git clone
$ cd astroquery
$ python install

Using astroquery

Importing astroquery on its own doesn't get you much: you need to import each sub-module specifically. Check out the docs to find a list of the tools available. The API shows the standard suite of tools common to most modules, e.g. query_object and query_region.

To report bugs and request features, please use the issue tracker. Code contributions are very welcome, though we encourage you to follow the API and contributing guidelines as much as possible.

List of Modules

  • Simbad: Basic data, cross-identifications, bibliography and measurements for astronomical objects outside the solar system.
  • Vizier: Set of 11,000+ published, multiwavelength catalogues hosted by the CDS.
  • ESASky: ESASky is a science driven discovery portal providing easy visualizations and full access to the entire sky as observed with ESA Space astronomy missions.
  • IRSA Image Server program interface (IBE) Query Tool: provides access to the 2MASS, WISE, and PTF image archives.
  • IRSA dust: Galactic dust reddening and extinction maps from IRAS 100 um data.
  • NED: NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Multiwavelength data from both surveys and publications.
  • IRSA: NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive. Science products for all of NASA's infrared and sub-mm missions.
  • UKIDSS: UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey. JHK images of 7500 sq deg. in the northern sky.
  • MAGPIS: Multi-Array Galactic Plane Imaging Survey. 6 and 20-cm radio images of the Galactic plane from the VLA.
  • NRAO: Science data archive of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. VLA, JVLA, VLBA and GBT data products.
  • Besancon: Model of stellar population synthesis in the Galaxy.
  • NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) atomic lines database.
  • Fermi: Fermi gamma-ray telescope archive.
  • SDSS: Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, including optical images, spectra, and spectral templates.
  • Alfalfa: Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey; extragalactic HI radio data.
  • SHA: Spitzer Heritage Archive; infrared data products from the Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Lamda: Leiden Atomic and Molecular Database; energy levels, radiative transitions, and collisional rates for astrophysically relevant atoms and molecules.
  • Ogle: Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment III; information on interstellar extinction towards the Galactic bulge.
  • Splatalogue: National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)-maintained (mostly) molecular radio and millimeter line list service.
  • CosmoSim: The CosmoSim database provides results from cosmological simulations performed within different projects: the MultiDark project, the BolshoiP project, and the CLUES project.
  • ESO Archive
  • ALMA Archive
  • GAMA database
  • NVAS archive
  • Open Expolanet Catalog (OEC)