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Sources of astronomy images

These pages are intended primarily for those browsing for spectacular images of celestial objects. Only sites with substantial amounts of high-quality material are listed; a more extensive, but less discriminating, list of sources is available at AstroWeb.

The RAS library contains one of the most extensive and complete archives of historical astronomical and geophysical material in the world, including innumerable unique images. Researchers looking for historical material should refer to the RAS Library Information Sheets on 'Sources of biographical and portrait information on astronomers' and 'Notes for Picture Researchers'.

For the more general enthusiast, the RAS has a set of reasonably-priced full-colour astronomical posters available for purchase.
A guide to astronomical images is available here

[o] Astronomy Picture of the Day A new astronomical image every day, with an archive of thousands of pictures.
[x] 2MASS images Infrared colour composites constructed from 2MASS Atlas Images

[x] AAO images Thumbnails of the celebrated images taken by David Malin

[x] BAA picture of the week A variety of images taken by members of the British Astronomical Association

[x] Chandra Photo Album Selected images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory

[x] ESO images The outreach pages of the European Southern Observatory contain many fine images obtained with the ESO telescopes, including the 'VLT Top 20'

[x] The Hubble Space Telescope Heritage Project Some of the very finest images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. (See also the HST European Co-ordinating Facility.)

[x] Isaac Newton Group The ING picture archive, and astronomy images obtained with ING telescopes (UK mirror).

[x] Messier Objects Image collection at SEDS.

[x] NASA Multimedia Gallery Portal for NASA's photo, video, audio, and arts galleries of its audio-visual products, including the NASA Image eXchange (NIX).

[x] NGC objects Links at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to images of NGC objects.

[x] NOAA Photo Library A wide variety of (mostly non-astronomical) images offered by the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

[x] NOAO Image Gallery From the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory

 [x] NSSDC Photo Gallery Images on all aspects of astronomy and space science, from NASA's National Space Science Data Center.

[x] Palomar Observatory Images taken with the historic 200-inch and 60-inch telescopes.

[x] Siding Spring images An outstanding collection of full-colour deep-sky images obtained by Mike Bessell (MSSSO) and colleagues.

[x] VLT images The 'Top 20' images from the first five years of operation of the ESO Very Large Telescope.

[x] The Web Nebulae Bill Arnett's selection of images of `deep-sky' objects.

[x] Earth-Sun Environment SpaceWeather.Com - Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment, includes galleries for aurorae, meteor showers, comets, eclipses, sunsets, etc. NOAA Photo Library - the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration hosts a surprisingly eclectic collection of images

[x] Solar-System Tours The Nine Planets - an outstanding `multimedia tour of the solar system', including basic data, excellent pictures, and much useful and up-to-date information. Views of the Solar System - `images and information about the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and meteoroids found within the solar system'. Damian Peach provides some of the finest and most interesting images of planets produced by an 'amateur' astronomer. NASA's Planetary Photojournal - `the best solar-system pictures in one place' (it claims - with some justification). The US National Space Science Data Center is a useful resource for planetary data. The BBC's Space pages have interesting images, video clips, etc. Fourmilab's Earth and Moon Viewer and Home Planet are useful utilities for displaying Earth images. There are also Web sites specializing in some of the smaller bodies of the solar system: asteroids, comets, (and their impacts with earth - more fun than you'd think!), planetary rings, meteorites, and even dust.
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