IRAS Galaxy Atlas



The purpose of the IRAS Galaxy Atlas application is to provide a simple mechanism for locating and retrieving high-resolution-processed IRAS images of the galactic plane. There is a single simple request form and a results page.

Request Form

Coordinates are given by entering a coordinate or object name into the Coordinate text field. NED is used to resolve extragalactic object names into celestial coordinates, and SIMBAD is used for Galactic objects. The user can also specify whether they want IRAS band 3 or 4, the first or 20th iteration of the image generation algorithm, or whether they want to see a beam map.


  Location Other Parameters Result
1 M 16 Band: 4, Iter: 1, sources, grid IGA image covering MESSIER 016 with IRAS PSC sources shown in red.
2 18h18m48.00s -13d47m00.0s Eq J2000 Band: 4, Iter: 1, sources, grid (same)
3 M 16 Band: 3, Iter: 20, Beam Beam map of the same area as (1) and (2). No source overlays.
4 M 31   Error message informing you that the location is not covered by IGA.

There should be pointers to the 2MASS image file (FITS format) for download at the bottom of the display plus pointers to a PostScript file of the map overlay and the table or IRAS PSC sources that went into making the overlay.


Coordinates are given in one string and are parsed by a routine which is generally very forgiving of format, if the string would be unambiguous to a person reading it the routine will be happy. The coordinate system defaults to Equatorial and the equinox to J2000.

Data download (e.g. the final FITS images) can easily get screwed up by shortcoming in the browsers. For instance, the "Save As..." construct often gets confused when the reference is embedded in frames (as it is here). The cleanest approach is to tell the browser to always save FITS data directly to disk.

In Netscape, for instance, this involves going through the "Edit/Preferences..." / "Navigator/Applications" pulldown/popup sequence and then adding an entry for "FITS Image Data" (mime type "image/x-fits", suffixes ".fit", ".fits", etc.) where the action is handled as "Save to Disk". You can also opt instead for the action to be running an application (e.g. skyview or saoimage).