Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes

Anton Koekemoer ( for the MAST team

The Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is NASA’s data repository for astronomy missions at ultraviolet, optical and infrared wavelengths. These include Hubble, GALEX, Kepler, XMM-OM and Swift-UVOT, future missions such as Webb, past missions (FUSE, IUE, EUVE and others), and all-sky surveys such as VLA-FIRST, GSC and DSS.

MAST supports the scientific research carried out by the astronomical community through facilitating access to its collections, offering expert user support and software for calibration and analysis, and providing value-added scientific data products. These include high-level science products (HLSPs) such as mosaics, catalogs, and spectra delivered to MAST by science teams, as well as enhanced products accessible via the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). As of September 1, 2012, the volume of MAST’s data holdings was approximately 200 terabytes (TB), with 1.2 TB having been ingested and 10.9 TB having been distributed during the month of August 2012.

The MAST Data Discovery Portal (beta version)

To enable fuller exploration of science-ready images, catalogs, and other datasets, MAST is developing a new web application, the Data Discovery Portal. This application provides the following features through a single web interface:

Access via a single query to MAST’s diverse collections of images, catalogs, spectroscopic data, and other high-level science products;

  • Access to all Virtual Observatory (VO) data collections, including all other astronomical catalogs, images, and other products that are searchable via the VO;
  • Robust filtering mechanism for narrowing search results; and
  • Views and visualizations for interactive exploration:
    • Preview images;
    • Observation footprints and catalog objects plotted on a sky background; and
    • Context-dependent links to supplemental information and tools.

We encourage all interested users to try out some science projects using the Data Discovery Portal (which also contains a video tutorial on how to use it). This is an early release for demonstration purposes, and is currently under active development. In order to make this tool as useful as possible for the widest possible range of science, we would greatly appreciate feedback on its current capabilities and any new features that would be useful. If you are interested in helping to guide this project as a tester and/or with feature requests, please contact us at