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I. Introduction

3. How to Access WISE Data Products


  1. Online Access
    1. Source Catalog and Other Databases
    2. Images
    3. Moving Object Tracklets
    4. Atlas Tile Look-up Service
  2. Application Programming Interface
  3. Electronic Access to the Full Source Catalog

Most of the WISE science data products are distributed to the community via the online and computer-compatible services of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA). Moving object tracklet information is available from the services of the IAU Minor Planet Center.

a. Online Access

  1. Source Catalog and Other Databases

    The WISE archive contains the All-Sky Release Source Catalog extracted from the coadded Atlas Images, the Single-exposure Source Database, that provides positions and photometry measured from the individual WISE exposures, and metadata tables associated with the Atlas and Single-exposure images and source tables. Logical queries on the WISE All-Sky Release Catalog and Databases can be made via the IRSA/Gator online query engine. Gator enables searches on any Table attribute, such as position, brightness, color, quality flags, etc., or combinations thereof. Queries may be submitted using either a simple "Query-By-Table" form or with user-customizable SQL input. For example, one common query type is to search for all sources within a specified sky region, which can be most efficiently achieved using the query panel with spatial constraints.

    Note: Gator is not designed to support very large downloads of the WISE Catalogs or Databases. Specifically, if the return data volume exceeds 2Gb, Gator will truncate the query. So be cautious when your return table is close to 2Gb in size. See below for Catalog and Database bulk download instructions.

  2. Images

    Image data available in the WISE archive include the coadded All-Sky Atlas Images and Single-exposure (Level 1b) images. These FITS format images, including science intensity images, uncertainty maps, depth-of-coverage (for the Atlas Images) and Bit-mask maps (for Single-exposure images) are accessed using the IRSA WISE Image Archive Service. This web-based interface enables selection, display and retrieval of any or all Atlas Images and Single-exposure images based on position and time (in the case of the Single-exposure images) of observation using the information stored in the image metadata. The returned images are in the native pixel format and projection of the image products. Both interactive and batch requests are supported by the image service.

    The IRSA Image Mosaic Service builds custom mosaics of WISE All-Sky Atlas Images (as well as other large-area image data sets such as 2MASS, DSS and SDSS) up to 2x2 deg. in size on user specified centers, projections and pixel scales.

    The WISE Full-depth Ecliptic Polar Atlas Images can be retrieved via the links in section II.3.h.

  3. Moving Object Tracklets

    WISE Moving Object Tracklet information can be accessed using the IAU Minor Planet Center MPCCAT-Observation Archive. To extract observations for a particular object reported to the MPC by the WISE Moving Object Pipeline System, use MPC-OBS specifying the WISE observer code, C51. Note that newly discovered objects of particular interest, like NEOs, comets, and Centaurs, were issued Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECS).

    Instructions for retrieving Moving Object Tracklet information are given in II.4.e.iii.

  4. Atlas Tile Look-up Service

    Use the WISE All-Sky Release Tile Lookup Tool to determine in which Atlas Tile a specified location or object can be found. This service is also useful for determining if a location or object is contained in the WISE Preliminary Data Release (April 2011) or 3-Band Cryo Data Release (planned for summer 2012) that do not cover the full sky.

b. Application Programming Interface

IRSA provides program-friendly interfaces to query and retrieve tabular and image data from the WISE mission. These URL-accessible services provide query and download functionality that can be accessed directly from a web browser, or by writing and running a simple "wget" or "curl" script on their local Unix system. Documentation on using these services is available on the IRSA site via the following links:

IRSA catalog query service (Gator) program interface documentation

IRSA image query service program interface documentation

c. Electronic Access to the Full Source Catalog and Other Databases

The WISE All-Sky Release Source Catalog and Reject Table, and Single-exposure Source Database are available in compressed bzip2 ASCII form for bulk download at

The Catalog, Reject Table and Database are divided into multiple, separate compressed files, each file containing the source records within distinct declination bands. Wget scripts are available at the above URL to download all of the parts. The unpacked tables are formatted in a simple bar-delimited manner consistent with convenient loading into a database server. The column order and contents of the columns are as described in Section II.2.a and Section II.4.c.i

Be aware that the Catalog and Database Tables are extremely large, even in bzip2-compressed format. Please follow the links for each of the tables to determine how much storage space is required to download and unpack the tables.

Last update: 2017 June 8

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