MAST, Multimission Archive at Space Telescope

Alberto Conti,

The Multimission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST) is NASA’s data repository for astronomy missions in the ultraviolet–optical wavelength range, including both active and legacy missions. MAST supports the astronomical community by facilitating access to its collections, offering expert user support, and providing software for calibration and analysis.

Currently, the volume of MAST’s holdings is about 113 terabytes (1 TB = 1012 bytes). Hubble data, including the reprocessed data in the legacy archive, accounts for approximately 80% of the data. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) is the source of nearly 15%. The remaining 5% consists of high-level science products (HLSPs) and data from other missions and observing programs, notably Kepler, Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), X-Ray Multi-Mirror Mission–Newton, and the Digital Sky Survey.

EPOCh Observations by the Deep Impact Spacecraft

MAST’s newest data source is a 2008 program of astronomical observations by the Deep Impact spacecraft, performed after its spectacular rendezvous with comet Tempel/P1 in 2005. Called “Extrasolar Planet Observations and Characterization” (EPOCh), this data includes new photometric time series for eight stars with transiting “super Jupiters.” The goal is to refine the physical properties of the giant planets, search for rings and moons that may orbit them, and search in these systems for smaller planets, down to the size of Earth.

The EPOCh data include images and spectra of the whole Earth from a distance, to help scientists anticipate future direct observations of extrasolar planets.

New Kepler Data and Services

Four important Kepler catalogs—the original input catalog, the subset of the input catalog that covers the Kepler field of view, the exoplanets catalog, and the catalog of Kepler observations—are now available from the MAST website and from standard Virtual Observatory catalog searches.

MAST’s publicly available Kepler data includes all the full-frame images and light curves for the planetary search program for the first and second mission quarters (Q0, Q1). The light curves for Q2 and Q3 are now available to Kepler guest observers and members of the science team.

Kepler HSLPs include the data for the first five planets discovered by Kepler, as announced by PI W. Borucki at the January 2010 meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting (see them here).