Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes

Anton Koekemoer,, for the MAST team

The Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is one of NASA’s premier astronomy data centers, along with the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) and the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA). MAST is the primary archive repository for data from several large, active space missions (Hubble, Kepler, XMM-OM and Swift-UVOT), as well as legacy data from past missions (GALEX, FUSE, IUE, EUVE, and others), planned data from future missions, such as James Webb Space Telescope, and all-sky surveys such as VLA-FIRST, GSC and DSS.

MAST supports the scientific research carried out by the astronomical community by 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 2013, the total volume of MAST’s data holdings was approximately 270 terabytes (TB), with an average of 18 TB of data downloaded per month. Current MAST news and updates are continuously posted on our main archive site and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

MAST-1Comet ISON high-level science products available in MAST

Comet ISON is being intensely studied as it approaches perihelion, or its closest approach to the sun. In anticipation of the potential for unique advances in our understanding of comet physics that will be enabled by this event, a number of Hubble proposals have been scheduled to observe the comet both before and after perihelion. The reduced data from these programs are being made available to the community via MAST as high-level science products. The website for the project provides the program numbers of all the approved Hubble proposals and provides further details about the observations, as well as access to the high-level science products as they become available. The first datasets from these projects are now available for interactive display and download, including all the observations that were used to create the Hubble Heritage images released on May 9, 2013.

New high-level science products from the Multi-Cycle Treasury Programs

All three Multi-Cycle Treasury (MCT) programs have completed their observations during this cycle and are continuing to release a variety of new high-level science products (HLSPs), bringing the total to over 4 TB of mosaics and other products delivered to the archive by these teams. These can be accessed from the main HLSP page. As of September 2013, these data have been used in a total of 111 refereed papers published by these teams and by the community (with more currently in press); recent science highlights are summarized here.

The Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS; P.I.: S. Faber and H. Ferguson) has successfully completed the entire observing program of 902 orbits (including the supernova component), covering five fields using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) with the F125W and F160W filters, and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) with the F606W and F814W filters, together with additional filters in some fields (ACS F435W, F775W, and F850LP, and WFC3 F275W and F105W). Full details are provided in Grogin et al. (2011) and Koekemoer et al. (2011). To date, full-depth combined v1.0 mosaics in WFC3 and ACS have been released for three of the fields (UDS, COSMOS and GOODS-S), while v0.5 mosaics have been released for all data on the EGS field and for 13 out of the total of 14 GOODS-N epochs. The remaining releases are on schedule for delivery over the coming months. The CANDELS team has also now released two full v1.0 photometric multi-wavelength catalogs for the UDS field (35,932 sources; Galametz et al. 2013) and for GOODS-S (34,390 sources; Guo et al. 2013), as well as a catalog of 20,000 sources from GOODS-S that was used to train a total of 11 different photometric redshift codes (Dahlen et al. 2013). As of September 2013, the community had downloaded over 37 TB of the CANDELS survey’s high-level science products and mosaics to 1303 distinct IP addresses. Recent science highlights include high-redshift supernovae, galaxy structure and black holes, and galaxy evolution in the early universe.


The Cluster Lensing and Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH; P.I.: M. Postman; see Postman et al. 2012). has also completed their entire observing program of 25 clusters, for a total of 524 orbits (including the supernova component). The most recent data releases from the team include first-release mosaics, at 65 milliarcsec/pixel, for two new clusters (CLJ1226+3332 and MACSJ1423+24), as well as full photometric catalogs and higher resolution mosaics, at 30 milliarcsec/pixel, for three additional clusters (Abell 1423, MACSJ0429-02, and RXJ2248-4431). Each cluster has been observed with up to 16 Hubble filters, including four ultraviolet filters in the ultraviolet-visible channel of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3/UVIS), seven optical filters in Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and five filters in the infrared channel of WFC3 (WFC3/IR). As of September 2013, the community had downloaded over 2.5 TB of the CLASH survey’s high-level science products and mosaics to 1061 distinct IP addresses. Recent science results from the survey include distant galaxy candidates at redshifts 9–10, lensed galaxies at redshift 6, and the physical properties of clusters.


The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury Program (PHAT; P.I.: J. Dalcanton; Dalcanton et al. 2012) has also completed their 834-orbit observing program of 23 “bricks” that tile the Andromeda galaxy in a total of six filters (ultraviolet coverage with WFC3/UVIS F275W and F336W, optical coverage with ACS F475W and F814W, and infra-red coverage with WFC3/IR F110W and F160W). As of September 2013, the community had downloaded over 5 TB of the PHAT survey’s mosaics and other products to 522 distinct IP addresses. Recent science highlights include supernova remnant progenitor masses, the dynamics and structure of M31, and the properties of its stellar populations.