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Resource Guides

Websites to Obtain Astronomical Images

Compiled by Andrew Fraknoi (Fromm Institute, U. of San Francisco)
[Mar. 2023]

© copyright 2023 by Andrew Fraknoi.  Permission to use for any non-profit educational purpose, such as distribution in a classroom or workshop is hereby given.  For any other use, or publication, you must contact the author at: fraknoi {at} fhda {dot} edu

The Top Image Sites

Many of these images are free of copyright because they are distributed by government agencies. Always read their copyright and distribution policies to see where your intended use fits under their guidelines.

  • Two scientists scour the Internet and feature one interesting astronomy image each day. You can search for terms that take you to categories of objects.

  • A new gallery that combines thousands of images from telescopes in space and a few on the ground. Each image then has consistent download options and information about what colors mean which wavelengths

  • Magnificent color images from ESO’s largest telescopes. See the topical menu at the top

  • Click on the menu of categories or search for the name of any object the telescope may have photographed

  • Growing library of infrared images from JWST; use the menu of categories or search for any object which you may have seen in the news

  • Growing archive of images from the many telescopes that make up the United States’ National Observatories.

  • Features thousands of images from NASA’s extensive set of planetary exploration missions with a good search menu. Does not, alas, include most of the missions from other countries.

  • Dramatic night-sky images by professional photographers who are amateur astronomers. Note that while many of the astronomy sites allow free use of their images, the ones here are copyrighted by photographers who make their living selling them.

Other Useful General Galleries

Some Galleries on Specific Subjects