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1.1 Archive Overview

STScI maintains an Archive of all HST data and their associated calibration files. The Archive holds all HST observations ever made and provides a database that catalogs and describes these observations. A program called StarView acts as an interface to the Archive; it allows you to search the Archive and to retrieve data from it. StarView is the sole electronic source of proprietary data. A World Wide Web interface to the archive currently permits retrieval of public but not proprietary data.

1.1.1 Accessing the Archive

To retrieve data electronically you need to be able to access StarView (or the Archive web site if you are interested only in public data), and you need to be a registered user of the archive. Only registered users may retrieve data from the Archive. Proprietary data can be retrieved only by authorized registered users.

General Observers and Guaranteed Time Observers (GTO) normally have exclusive rights to their HST data for one year. However, all observations obtained under calibration proposals are immediately public.

Distributed Access

StarView operates most rapidly if you run it on your own machine, and it is available in executable form for several operating systems. To take advantage of the speed of distributed access, download the StarView software from our website:


The web site contains directions and materials for installing StarView on your own computer. No compilation is necessary. Once StarView is installed, typing xstarview starts the program.

By running the xstarview client on your own computer, you avoid the overhead of running the software over the network, giving you a considerable speed improvement.

Remote Access

You can run StarView remotely at STScI, if it is not currently available on your local machine. Use telnet to connect to archive.stsci.edu and log in with the user name guest and password archive1. Once logged in, you can use StarView to peruse the database. Simply type xstarview for the X-Windows version or starview from the command line for the terminal version. The X-Windows version takes advantage of all of StarView's capabilities, including data previews; however, the terminal version will respond faster under remote access.

Web Access

STScI maintains a web site for current news, quick retrieval of special datasets, and retrieval of public data sets through online forms:


Features of this web site include:

1.1.2 Registering to Retrieve Hubble Data

The simplest way to register is through our World Wide Web form at the following location:


You can also register by typing the register command while logged onto archive.stsci.edu.

Your retrieval account will be activated within two working days, and you will receive your password via E-mail.

1.1.3 Authorization to Retrieve Proprietary Data

To be authorized to retrieve proprietary data, you must (a) send E-mail to the archive hotseat (archive@stsci.edu) if you are the Principal Investigator (PI) of the proposal, specifying the proposal ID number and your registered username, or (b) request the PI to do so.

Note that PIs are not automatically authorized to retrieve their own data.

1.1.4 Archive Documentation and Help

The Archive's web page provides a wealth of useful information, including an online version of the HST Archive Manual. Postscript versions of the HST Archive Primer and the HST Archive Manual are available via anonymous FTP from archive.stsci.edu. in the pub/manuals directory. If you have any questions, direct them via E-mail to archive@stsci.edu, or phone (410) 338-4547.

1.1.5 Getting Your Data Quickly

The fastest way to retrieve your proprietary data is to:

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1 European archive users should generally use the ST-ECF Archive system via their web site at http://archive.eso.org/. Canadian users should request public archival data through the CADC web site; http://cadc.dao.nrc.ca/. -Proprietary data is available only through STScI.

Copyright © 1997, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. All rights reserved. Last updated: 11/13/97 16:07:33