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Best Sources of Astronomical Images on the Web

by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College)

Version 4 (Jan. 2016)

© 2016 by Andrew Fraknoi. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for any nonprofit, educational purpose is hereby granted. For other purposes, contact author: fraknoi@

1. The Top Image Sites

Astronomy Picture of the Day:
Two space scientists scour the Internet and feature one “sexy” astronomy image each day.

Hubble Space Telescope Images:
Starting at this page, you can select among many hundreds of Hubble pictures by subject. Other ways to approach these images are through the more public-oriented Hubble Gallery: & the European ESO site:

National Optical Astronomy Observatories Image Gallery:
Growing archive of images from the many telescopes that are at the National Observatories.

Planetary Photojournal:
Features thousands of images from NASA’s planetary exploration, with a good search menu.

European Southern Observatory Photo Gallery:
Magnificent color images from ESO’s largest telescopes. See the topical menu at top.

The World at Night:
Dramatic night-sky images by professional photographers who are amateur astronomers.

2. Other Useful General Galleries

Anglo-Australian Observatory: ; soon at:
Great copyrighted color images by David Malin et al.

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope:
Remarkable color images from a major telescope on top of the Mauna Kea peak in Hawaii.

European Space Agency Gallery:
Access images from such missions as Mars Express, Rosetta, and Herschel.

Gemini Observatory Images:
Images from a pair of large telescopes, in the northern and the southern hemispheres.

Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes Image Gallery:
Beautiful images from the Herschel, Newton, and Kapteyn telescopes on La Palma.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Image Gallery:
Organized by topic, the images show objects and processes that give off radio waves.

3. Some Galleries on Specific Subjects

Astronaut Photography of the Earth:

Chandra X-ray Observatory Images:

NASA Human Spaceflight Gallery (astronauts): or

Robert Gendler (amateur closest to being professional):

Sloan Digital Sky Survey Images:

Solar Dynamics Observatory Gallery (Sun images):

Spitzer Infrared Telescope Images: