Data Access

The most current data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is Data Release 10 (DR10). DR10 is the first release of the spectra from the SDSS-III’s Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), which uses infrared spectroscopy to study tens of thousands of stars in the Milky Way. It and other past data releases can be viewed below.

The bright spiral galaxy Messier 81

Current and Future Data

The most recent data from the SDSS is Data Release 10, available from the SDSS-III website.

Data Release 11 (DR11) is an internal release to the SDSS collaboration.

Data Release 12 (DR12) will be made publicly available in January 2015.

Accessing the Data

Each Data Release includes four types of data: images, optical spectra, infrared spectra, and catalog data (parameters measured from images and spectra, such as magnitudes and redshifts).

The SDSS offers several different online data access tools, each suited to a particular need:

Website Purpose
Science Archive Server Interactive spectra and image mosaics
SkyServer Browser-based access to the Catalog Archive Server (CAS) database, with resources for learning SQL and projects to teach science
CasJobs Flexible advanced SQL-based interface to the CAS, for all data releases (quick registration required)
DR10 FITS Direct download access to DR10 FITS data files for experts
Data Model Details of the SAS directory structure, file formats, and the contents of each file

Past Data Releases

Working with SDSS Data

If you use public SDSS data in your paper, please see our guide on how to cite the SDSS. We hope you find our resources useful!

If you have questions about working with SDSS data, please email our helpdesk.