Knowledgebase: WISE

WISE Documentation

WISE All-Sky Data Release Documentation

WISE 3-Band Cryo Data Release Documentation

NEOWISE Post-Cryo Preliminary Release Documentation

More WISE Resources

How do I download image cutouts from the command line?

Instructions can be found here:

I'd like to download catalog data for WISE objects that lie anywhere on the sky, and satisfy a few constraints. What is the best way to do this?

Depending on the nature of the constraints, you could be looking at downloading a very large number of objects. To prevent a single user's very large query from impacting our performance for other users, IRSA's catalog search tool will fail for queries that result in tables larger than about 2 GB. Here is a simple strategy to follow if you suspect that your results table will be very large.

For efficiency, use the polygon search (rather than ra/dec constraints) to perform your query on a region that is a square degree in area. Check the size in GB (S) of your output file. The area in square degrees that you can use for future searches with the same constraints will be roughly A = 2 / S. Smaller areas are less likely to fail.

You will have to divide the sky up into chucks of area A, and perform your query separately on each chunk. Wait for a single query to complete before launching another one. Do not run multiple large queries simultaneously.

What are the canonical papers for WISE?

WISE: Wright et al. (2010)

NEOWISE: Mainzer et al. (2011)

Details on how to acknowledge WISE and NEOWISE are provided in the documentation.

What do I do with the zip files I get when I download data from some of the IRSA archives?

To uncompress the files you have downloaded from the command line, type "unzip <file>.zip". To uncompress multiple files at once, type "unzip '*.zip'" (the single quotes are important), or "unzip \*.zip" -- you just have to escape out the wildcard.

Double-clicking on the zipfile should also uncompress the files.

How do I get the Scan ID of all WISE exposures covering a given area?


I need to download some Scan ID/Frame (Single Exposure, Level 1b) WISE images covering a given region of the sky. The web interface requires the Scan ID. But I cannot find out how to get the Scan ID of all the observations covering a given area (e.g within a box of 5x5deg around M42).


You can get a list of ScanIDs this way: -> WISE -> WISE Catalog Search

Under WISE All-Sky Database, Selection = WISE All-Sky Single Exposure (L1b) Frame Metadata Table

Boxes up to 2deg can be searched at a time.

There is a similar table for NEOWISE.

How can I get a WISE extended source catalog?

The short answer is that there isn't a WISE Extended Source Catalog.  It is possible to find all WISE sources positionally associated with 2MASS Extended Source Catalog by using IRSA to select AllWISE catalog sources that have "ext_flg" = 4 or 5.  However, WISE data processing did not include an independent identification of resolved sources like was done for 2MASS.