Image Gallery

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We provide all images on 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.

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DR17 APOGEE Sky Map Coded by Survey

APOGEE Sky Map for DR17 coded by APOGEE-1 (cyan), APOGEE-2N (blue), and APOGEE-2S (red).

APOGEE-N 2D Image (Raw data frame)

From Majewski et al. 2017, Figure 14: Portion of a raw 2D APOGEE image from observations of a bulge field. The horizontal stripes correspond to individual stellar spectra. Vertical bright bands correspond to airglow features at the same rest wavelength in each spectrum, whereas absorption features at the same horizontal position from spectrum to spectrum correspond to telluric absorption features. Also obvious are variations in the expression of stellar atmospheric absorption features from star to star, evidenced by their varying strengths due to temperature and chemical composition differences, as well as changing relative positions due to Doppler shifts. Fiber assignments were managed by color-coding fiber holes in the plugplates (see Figure 13) and the fiber optic jackets at the telescope end to correspond to stars in each field sorted into three brightness groups (bright, medium, faint). These fibers were sorted at the spectrograph slit head into a repeating pattern of faint−medium−bright−bright−medium−faint to minimize the contamination of any given spectrum by the PSF wings of a much brighter spectrum in an adjacent fiber. This management scheme gives rise to the brightness modulation pattern apparent in this image.


Comparison of plates used for the APOGEE-N instrument (left) and the APOGEE-S instrument (right).Comparison of plates used for the APOGEE-N instrument (left) and the APOGEE-S instrument (right). Both plates are the same physical size, but, due to the differing telescope f/ ratios have different plate scales. APOGEE-S plates are machine-marked when APOGEE-N plates are marked by hand. APOGEE-S plates have two obscured regions that are used to place cameras, whereas the obscured regions in the APOGEE-N plate do not require physical hole (a central post is mounted in the center of the plate).


An APOGEE-2S observer places a fiber into the plug plate.An APOGEE-2S observer places a fiber into the plug plate as part of APOGEE-2S operations from 2017 to 2021. Photo courtesy of A. Almeida

APOGEE-2S Plate Plugging

An APOGEE-2S observer places fibers into the plugplate.APOGEE-2S observers both plug plates and take observations, typically alternating between roles during the observing runs. Here an observer prepares a cartridge by connecting the fibers to the proper plate holes. (Photo courtesy of A. Almeida)

MaNGA Fiber bundles

Images of the fibers in each of the MaNGA IFUs ranging from 7 to 127 fibers. Figure is from Drory et al. (2015)


View on the 1m dome at APO.The NMSU 1 m dome at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. The larger enclosure in the background is the ARC 3.5 m telescope (taken from Holtzman et al. 2010).


The APOGEE-2 instrument at LCO

eBOSS footprint


The logo of the SPIDERS sub-survey (part of eBOSS in SDSS-IV)

MaNGA Footprint for DR16

MaNGA tiling, status and prediction for future observation published in DR16 (Aug 2019)


Kepler 102 (left): Earth-like, dominated by olivine minerals; Kepler 407 (right): dominated by garnet, less likely to have plate tectonics


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.

MaStar HR Diagram

Extinction-corrected color-luminosity diagram for the DR15 version of the MaStar Library, color-coded by metallicityExtinction-corrected color-luminosity diagram for the DR15 version of the MaStar Library, color-coded by metallicity (click to enlarge). The photometry in this figure are in SDSS bands. The derivation of the absolute magnitudes are based on distances computed by Bailer-Jones et al. (2018) using parallax from Gaia DR2.

sSFR versus Stellar Mass for DR15 Pipe3d

A plot of specific starformation rate (SFR/M*) against stellar mass (M*) for galaxies analysed in the DR15 version of Pipe3d. Each galaxy is shown as a map of the kinematics traced by Halpha line.

MaNGA DR15 Footprint


Screenshot of summary data SN2011VScreenshot of summary data SN2011V


Map of DIB absorption strength from SDSS infrared and optical spectroscopy (Lan et al. 2015; Zasowski et al. 2015).

NMSU 1m + Sloan 2.5m

The NMSU 1-meter telescope structure, with the Sloan Telescope housing in the background.

Example MaNGA galaxy.

A galaxy inside a pink hexagon, which shows the coverage area of a MaNGA IFUA galaxy inside a pink hexagon, which shows the coverage area of a MaNGA IFU

Example MaNGA target

Example MaNGA target

MaNGA galaxies.

MaNGA written in galaxies. Write your own message in the sky:

Distributing an SDSS plate to a teacher in Hawaii

Distributing an SDSS plate to a teacher in HawaiiMiliani Middle School Teacher, Kari Caldeira-Silva (center), collecting her SDSS plate (number 6274) at the IAU meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii from Kate Meredith (left) and Karen Masters (right)

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 APOGEE-2 survey footprint, overlaid on an infrared image of the Milky Way. Each dot shows a position where APOGEE obtains at least 250 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.

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.