This collection is a result of work collecting data from all over the globe. Although far from complete, is an important resource for amateur astronomy.
Please keep in mind that some of these images may be subject to copyright restrictions. Permission should be sought from the owners and/or observatory for permission to reproduce. In particular, many of these images are copyrighted by the Anglo-Australian Observatory.
These images were collected by Steven Williams of the Grove Creek Observatory in Australia with assistance from Jim Lynch, Bill Arnett, and the good folks at SEDS.
You may access the archive via the Web or via ftp.
See the file 00Index for a list of available images and a brief description of a few of them.
- NGC Image links at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- image list from The Web Nebulae
- Messier object images from the Digital Sky Survey
- Messier object images from SEDS
- The Digital Sky Survey
- color images from AAT
This archive has an interesting history. As Steve collected the files, he naturally stored them on his own ftp server at GCO in Australia and kindly made them available to the Net. Unfortunately, it became very popular. Requests for these images began to swamp his server. Despite polite efforts to reduce the traffic, it was just too much and Steve had to withdraw it from his public area. This happened just as I (Bill Arnett) was searching around for just such a set of files. I was saddened to see such a valuable resource disappear but I certainly understood Steve’s problem.
I offered to ftp them all over to SEDS (assuming (correctly) that the SEDS folks wouldn’t mind) but Steve’s InterNet connection from Australia is both slow and costs him per byte. So he wasn’t too happy about sending 85 megabytes. Bummer.
Then quite independently I got a free trip to Melbourne. SneakerNet to the rescue! Jim (sysop of Steve’s machine) agreed to make a tape of the archive and I drove up to Sydney to pick it up. I hand carried it all across the Pacific (and all around New Zealand) on my way home. You can be sure I was damn careful about the airport X-ray machines!
Of course, I don’t have the right kind of tape drive on my home machine, so I persuaded my wife to read it on her machine at work. Copying the files from her work machine to SEDS was easy with their high-speed Internet connections.
So after several hundred miles by car, 8000 miles by jet and another 500 by ftp the archive is once again available to the public on a machine that can handle the load.
Bill Arnett; last updated: 1995 December 19