Updates and additions welcome .. and wanted !

List of Great Observatories
making Astronomical Photographs publicly available

Version 1.21

compiled by Hartmut Frommert

This file is also available in a plain text version.

Thanks to Chris Lewicki, this file has finally found a very good home on the famous ftp server ftp.seds.org, now available as a web archive; this copy is available in /pub/info/obs-ims.txt on that server. Formerly, it could be accessed as follows:

  1. Anon ftp, including FTP-Mail, e.g. to: ftpmail@seds.org
  2. Gopher to www.seds.org, go to "ftp | pub | info | obs-ims"
  3. On a WWW client, the URL is " http://files.seds.org/pub/info/obs-ims.txt", or " http://spider.seds.org/obs-ims.txt"
It is posted to the mailing list astro@lists.mindspring.com and various newsgroups including sci.astro and sci.astro.amateur when modifications justify this.


Anglo Australian Observatory and UK Schmidt Telescope:
Great selection (computer images, slides, prints), many by David Malin
Slide sets, prints, transparencies, posters are available from ASP, Hansen Planetarium, Planetarium Armagh, and others, or
    David Malin Images, e-mail: photo@aaoepp.aao.gov.au
    phone +61 (0)2 9997 1914: fax +61 (0)2 9940 2229
High-resolution computer images are available on CD-ROM, e.g. from ASP and Sky Publishing Corporation.
Low-resolution computer images are available from the internet: http://www.aao.gov.au/, ftp://ftp.aao.gov.au/pub/dfm_images/
(mirrored e.g. at: http://files.seds.org/pub/images/deepspace/AAT/)

Calar Alto German-Spain Observatory:
Some slides. 2 sets of 6 slides each are available from the
    Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie
    Königstuhl 17
    D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
also available from
    Baader Planetarium GmbH
    Zur Sternwarte
    D-82291 Mammendorf, Germany
    Ph. +49-8145/8802, Fax +49-8145/8805

Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory
(see: Kitt Peak National Observatory)

ESA and European spacecraft:
Several slides from selected missions. E.g., the ASP has astronomical photos from spacecraft: ROSAT (28, #AS 222), had IRAS

Several slides and posters. Available from their operation center in Munich
    European Southern Observatory
    Information Service
    Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
    D-85740 Garching, Germany
    Ph. +49-89/32006-276, Fax +49-89/3202362
Computer images from the ESO/MPI 2.2m may be obtained from

Grove Creek Observatory:
Great selection (computer images). Computer images are available via the internet:
More images of the GCO are available thanks to http://astro.nineplanets.org/gco/intro.html http://files.seds.org/pub/images/deepspace/gco/ (direct access)

Hale Observatories:
Great Selection (slides, prints). Individual slides, slide sets, prints and posters available from
    California Institute of Technology Bookstore
    Mail Code 1-51
    Pasadena, Calif. 91125, USA
Most were also available from Hansen Planetarium.

Hubble Space Telescope:
Great Selection (computer images, slides). Slide sets are available from the ASP, Sky Publishing, Holiday Film Corporation

Computer images are available from the internet:

and many mirrors, some more (i.e. others) also from
(this server also has the same and older files from stsci.edu in /pub/hst/)

All HST images become PD after 2 years (most after about 1), but then are available only as raw data, which may be accessed by

    telnet: stesis.hq.eso.org, login STARCAT, select CAT then HST
info via:
    http://www.stsci.edu/archive.html             (STScI's archive)
    http://cadcwww.dao.nrc.ca/CADC-homepage.html  (CADC's archive)
    http://arch-http.hq.eso.org/                  (ST-ECF's archive)

Keck Observatory:
Some slides (ok, it's quite new :-)). ASP: The Keck Telescope (20 slides, # AS 225)

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), and NOAO:
Great Selection (slides, prints). Individual slides, slide sets, prints and posters were available from Hansen Planetarium.

Computer images of the KPNO 2.1m and CTIO 1.5m are av from


Lick Observatory:
Great Selection (slides, prints). Slides and prints are available individually or in sets, from
    Lick Observatory OP, University of California
    Santa Cruz, Calif. 95064, USA
A color slide set and a booklet was available from Hansen Planetarium.

Lowell Observatory:
Some slides and computer images slides are available from their visitor's center, some in ASP series.

Computer images are available from the University of Alabama Astronomy Dept.:


McDonald Observatory:
Some slides and prints from their visitor's center

Mount Wilson Observatory
(see Hale Observatories)

Huge collection (10,000s of images): computer images, slides, prints All images are public domain ! The only exceptions are for particular proprietary experiments (to ensure that the prime experimentors can publish the results first), often including astronomy missions.

Slides, slide sets, prints and posters, including astronomical, are available from various sources, including ASP, Hansen Planetarium, Planetarium Armagh, Holiday Film Corporation, and many others. E.g., the ASP has astronomical photos from spacecraft/mission: UIT/Shuttle, Compton, Cobe.

There are VERY large collections of computer images on the internet of all manned (http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/, mirrored at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/mirrors/images/html/pao.htm) and the major unmanned space missions, including the astronomy missions; for example:

    HST (see: Hubble Space Telescope)
    UIT: http://trifle.gsfc.nasa.gov/UIT/
Some major general NASA internet servers with images:
    ftp://ftp.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/images/, http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/
For an overview of astronomical satellites, see also

(see: Kitt Peak National Observatory)

Several slides, many from the Very Large Array.
  ASP: The Radio Universe (40 slides # AS 299)
       The Radio Universe, Best of VLA (30 slides # AS 231)

Palomar Observatory
(see: Hale Observatories)

Royal Observatory Edinburgh
(see: AAO)

UK Schmidt Telescope/Royal Observatory Edinburgh
(see: AAO)

U.S. Navel Observatory (USNO):
Several slides. 2 sets of 20 slides each are available from the Hansen Planetarium

Very Large Array
(see: NRAO)

Yerkes Observatory:
1 slide, great selection of prints. Available from the observatory; the slide shows the big refractor. New: On request, Yerkes can deliver some more of their images as slides.


Since I wished that this list should increase and get comprehensive one day, please notify me if you know of other observatories that released photos. If you are in the position, you are also "encouraged to encourage" your observatory to make photos publicly available. Also, corrections and other sources info are welcome.

Hartmut Frommert [contact]

[Spider] @ [SEDS]