APIs in Astronomy

Many of the major astronomical archives have access endpoints.

The Mikulski Archive at Space Telescope (MAST) serves data predominately from individual space based missions operating between the ultraviolet and near-infrared portions of the spectrum. There is fairly complete documentation of the access endpoint, including scripting examples, here:


A related and useful page is the list of parameters that can be passed to any of the individual mission databases is here:


Similarly, the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) serves data from ground and space based missions operating at predominately infrared wavelengths. You can start here mainly for catalog access:


The full list of active catalogs can be queried (XML) as:


You can actually pass SQL right to the endpoint:


For X-ray sources, one can query the Chandra Source Catalog via an SQL like endpoint, or by issuing radial positional queries:


Astronomical objects are cataloged by and accessible via Simbad. Their endpoint is documented here:


Some of these services are being wrapped up in python packages related to astropy:


The majority of the scholarly literature about astronomy can be obtained via the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysical Data Service (ADS).  While they do not have a formal API (yet, shh, soon), there is lots of documentation on issuing queries against theirs services:


There is also a slick little ADS (bibliographic) importers/scraper:


Other resources:

Javascript resources for astronomical applications:


Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center has a ton of resources on their web services:


HTML5 control of Microsofts Worldwide telescope


The data.NASA endpoint API:

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