A new astronomy Web resource, called the "Spectral/Image Scrapbook," allows astronomers and astronomy buffs to explore pictures and other information about thousands of stars and galaxies beyond our solar system. These data are stored in the Multi-Mission Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (MAST) in Baltimore, MD.
The digital archives are a rich repository of black-and-white pictures and spectra - the various wavelengths of light emitted by a celestial body. These data were taken in ultraviolet and visible light by several NASA satellite missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer.
Internet users can obtain data by entering sky coordinates or the name of a celestial body. Here are two sample pages of MAST data on the hat-shaped Sombrero Galaxy, located 30 million light-years from Earth. The illustration on the left presents spectra taken by several observatories. The graphic on the right shows images of the Sombrero, all taken by the Hubble telescope.
Illustration Credit: Ann Feild (STScI)