ESO Data

Except for a few special cases, ESO data are world-wide available and can be requested after the proprietary period by the astronomical community.
Please read the official ESO data access policy.

Contents of the ESO Archive

  • All raw observations performed at the La Silla Paranal Observatory on the NTT, MPG-ESO 2.2m, ESO 3.6m, VLT/VLTI and APEX telescopes.
  • The raw data from the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) taken with the Wide Field Infrared Camera (WFCAM). Per agreement between ESO and the United Kingdom, these data are made available to the astronomers from the ESO member states. Please note that WFCAM data stored in the ESO archive are tile-compressed.
  • Various data products:

Science data are stored in the archive together with the calibration and auxiliary data.
Find out more about the ESO optical and infrared instrumentation and the APEX submillimeter instrumentation.

ESO Archive Browsers

To search and retrieve ESO data, use one of the following archive browsers:

  • Raw data query form, a unified and observatory-oriented access to the ESO collection of raw data for astronomers with no previous experience with ESO instruments.
  • Instrument specific query forms (for raw data only), several instrument specific and technically-oriented access points to the ESO archive for astronomers already well familiar with ESO instrument setups and observing strategies.
  • Reduced data query form, a unified and science-oriented access to the ESO collection of historical advanced data products.
  • Query interfaces for ESO data products collected through the Phase3 process since April 2011:
  • The Science Portal offers improved capabilities regarding visualisation (including facets, previews, footprints, etc.) of the science data products.
  • The Programmatic Access offers direct database access and scripting capabilities to query and access the raw data, science data products, and ambient conditions (tap_obs), and the scientific catalogs generated by the principal investigators of various ESO observing programmes (tap_cat). The layer is entirely based on VO protocols to guarantee and facilitate interoperability.

To monitor the progress of your data requests, visit your archive request handler page (login required).
A section on Frequently Asked Questions provides additional guidance on the use of the ESO Science Archive Facility.

Catalogue Facility

The Catalogue Facility offers query access to those scientific data catalogues that were produced by the principal investigators of ESO observing programmes, and that were integrated into the ESO science archive via the Phase3 process.

Additional Query Forms

  • Observation schedule query form
  • Ambient conditions database, includes nightly measurements of environmental parameters at La Silla and Paranal observatory sites.
  • Data direct retrieval form (for raw data only)
  • The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) is a database of refereed publications that use partly or exclusively data obtained with ESO facilities. The search interface provides access to records since publication year 1996, along with interactive graphs. telbib is compiled by scanning the major astronomical journals for scientific papers that contain ESO-defined keywords (e.g., telescope and instrument names). All papers included in the database have been inspected visually to ensure that they directly use ESO observational data.
    Results derived from telbib are of high importance to assess the scientific impact of ESO telescope facilities. Authors are asked to support this endeavour by acknowledging the use of observations in their papers as described in the Policy on Publications based on ESO Data. telbib is maintained by the ESO Library. Further information including reports and statistics can be found at

Registration and Acknowledgments

To request data one has to register to the ESO User Portal.
Please do not forget to acknowledge the use of archive data in your publications.