Image Gallery

Unless otherwise specified, the following Image Use Policy holds for all images on this website:

New in DR14 we have updated our image license to a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY). Any SDSS image on the SDSS Web site may be downloaded, linked to, or otherwise used for any purpose, provided that you maintain the image credits. Unless otherwise stated, images should be credited to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

We note that

  • Your use of the image does not imply our endorsement of any product or service
  • If the image is to be used on a Web page, we also ask as a courtesy that you provide a link back to our site at

All SDSS data released in our public data releases is considered in the public domain.

Any questions about image use should be directed to the ARC Corporate Office via ARC’s Business Manager as follows:

Alim Patten
ARC Business Manager
c/o Department of Astronomy, Box 351580
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: +1 206-616-0035

Please provide the exact URL of the image you are inquiring about.

If you have further questions about the appropriate usage or credits for SDSS images, please contact the helpdesk.


SDSS-V will be carried out in both hemispheres, at Apache Point Observatory (APO) in the USA and Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) in Chile. Multi-object fiber spectroscopy will be obtained with two 2.5m telescopes, each feeding a near-infrared APOGEE spectrograph and an optical BOSS spectrograph, for the Milky Way Mapper and Black Hole Mapper programs. The Local Volume Mapper will make use of smaller telescopes at APO and LCO to perform its optical integral-field spectroscopy.

APOGEE DR12 Coverage – Survey and Commissioning Data

An all sky plot showing the APOGEE DR12 Coverage for both Survey and Commissioning Data.

APOGEE DR12 Coverage – Observed Survey Plan

APOGEE DR13 survey areaAn all-sky plot showing the planned for APOGEE DR13 survey.

BOSS instrument: two dispersive elements and the dichroic

The assembled central optics (two dispersive elements and the dichroic).The assembled central optics (two dispersive elements and the dichroic).

An SDSS Plate

A SDSS fiber optic plug plate showing the markings used to plug fibers.

APOGEE DR10 Coverage – Survey and Commissioning Data

An all sky image of the APOGEE DR10 coverage.

Wide Area View of Hanny’s Voorwerp

A wide angle view of the patch of SDSS imaging containing "Hanny's Voorwerp", the blueish nebula next to galaxy IC 2497 at lower left of the image.

APOGEE Spectra of Stars in Temperature Sequence

Blog post about this image.

SDSS Orange Spider

The SDSS “Orange Spider”. This illustrates the wealth of information on scales both small and large available in the SDSS I/II and III imaging. The picture in the top left shows the SDSS view of a small part of the…

Stacked quasar spectra

Stacked spectra of more than 46,000 quasars from the SDSS; each spectrum has been converted to a single horizontal line, and they are stacked one above the other with the closest quasars at the bottom and the most distant quasars at the top.
Credit: X. Fan and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Star cluster M13

A bright cluster of white stars in the center of the imageThe star cluster M13 as seen by the SDSS

The SDSS Field of Streams

A plot of the sky showing regions with more stars in red and yellow and regions with fewer stars in blue and blackThe SDSS's "Field of Streams" map shows structures of stars in the outer Milky Way

Dwarf Galaxy Leo I

A small blue irregular galaxyThe ultra-faint Milky Way Companion galaxy Leo I

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

Two spiral galaxies side-by-sideThe bright spiral galaxy M51 and its fainter companion

SDSS Galaxy Map

A slice of the Universe showing the large-scale structure of galaxies; each galaxy is a small orange, green, or blue dot.The SDSS's map of the Universe. Each dot is a galaxy; the color is the g-r color of that galaxy .

Example Supernovae

du Pont Telescope

The Irenee du Pont Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in ChileThe Irenee du Pont Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile

Messier 81 (or Bode’s Galaxy)

The bright spiral galaxy Messier 81SDSS legacy imaging of the bright spiral galaxy, Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy). This galaxy lies about 12 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major.

Spectrum of a Quasar

Spectrum of a Quasar

Sloan 2.5m Telescope

The Sloan 2.5m Telescope

SDSS Imaging Camera

SDSS Imaging CameraSDSS Imaging Camera.

SEGUE Fields

The SEGUE-1 fields are displayed in blue and the SEGUE-2 are in red. The map is in Galactic coordinates (credit: M. Strauss).

Field of Streams (low res)

SDSS stellar map of the Northern sky, showing trails and streams of stars torn from disrupted Milky Way satellites. Insets show new dwarf companions discovered by the SDSS

Milky Way Science with SEGUE

Milky Way science: using SEGUE data with SSPP parameter estimates to determine the radial metallicity gradient of the Galactic disk (Cheng et al. 2012)

A BOSS DR10 Spectrum

A randomly selected spectrum from the DR10 BOSS data, showing absorption (red) and emission (blue) lines.

Detection of the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation Signal in SDSS-II and BOSS

Comparison of the power spectrum of SDSS-II LRGs and BOSS DR9 CMASS galaxies. Solid lines show the best-fit models. From Anderson et al. 2012.

Baryon Acoustic Oscillations Cartoon

An illustration of the concept of baryon acoustic oscillations, which are imprinted in the early universe and can still be seen today in galaxy surveys like BOSS

Field of Streams

Wide angle of M51

The large spiral galaxy M51 with its small spiral companion

APOGEE-2 Plan (high resolution)

The planned APOGEE-2 survey area overlain on an image of the Milky Way. Each dot shows a position where APOGEE-2 will obtain stellar spectra.

eBOSS Survey Plan

Planned eBOSS coverage of the Universe

APOGEE-2 Plan (low resolution)

The planned APOGEE-2 survey area overlain on an image of the Milky Way. Each dot shows a position where APOGEE-2 will obtain stellar spectra.

MaNGA Fiber Pattern

An illustration of the footprint of a 127 fiber MaNGA bundle overlaid on an image of a galaxy.

A 127 Fiber MaNGA Bundle

An image of the face of a 127 fiber MaNGA IFU.

Small Version of SDSS 2.5m Telescope

MaNGA Target Galaxy Example

SDSS-IV Logo Black Text

SDSS-IV Logo White Text

Sloan 2.5m Telescope

A smaller version of this image also exists.