Programmatic access to the data


A complementary way to access the European Hubble Space Telescope Archive content is through programmatic access via HTTP requests. This access is normally used in scripts, application code or command line tools, and allows access to all the data of the Hubble Science Archive.

Dedicated pages to the programmatic access are available in the EHST website.


The former access to data files by means of the HST archive proxy is still accessible, but  is now redirected to the new data distribution system of the EHST. If your scripts are still using this old proxy they are still valid, but you should try the new and enhanced access to both data and metadata to do your HST science.

The former URL to download any given file is:

The file id to give is the observation id+extension without '.fits'. As an example, to get o6d701030_x1d.fits the URL would be:

To unzip on the fly, merily leave out the GZIPPED option.

Please note that the separator between dataset name and extension can be either "." or "_".  GHRS, FOS and FOC use a dot, all others have underscores.

For an overview over the possible extensions and examples of file ids for any given instrument please see the table below.

By using the HST dataset retrieval interface it is possible to get a expanded list of URLs for a list of  dataset names from the download manager. 

In case you use a command line tool like curl or wget to download a file you might have to specify a output name as they do not always get the filename from the HTTP header, example:

curl -L -o o6d701030_x1d.fits.gz '' 
wget -O  o6d701030_x1d.fits.gz ''

Unfortunately this is highly dependent on on the version of the command line tool

HST Data File Names

The links in the table below lead to separate pages containing information about the extensions and file ids associated with every HST dataset. The letters in brackets are used as the first letter of the dataset names for that instrument. Since the calibration system in use produce a variety of files and their nomenclature is not necessarily standard across all instruments, we encourage you to consult the table below for a precise description of each files delivered by the HST archive system at ESAC. For further details please consult the HST Data Handbook.

WFPC2 (U): Wide Field Planetary Camera 2
WFPC (W): Wide Field Planetary Camera
FOC (X): Faint Object Camera
FOS (Y): Faint Object Spectrograph
GHRS (Z): Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph
Active Instruments
WFC3 (I): Wide Field Camera 3
ACS (J): Advanced Camera for Surveys
COS (L): Cosmic Origins Spectrograph
NICMOS (N): Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrograph
STIS (O): Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph
Legacy Instruments

Furthermore advanced science products from the Hubble Legacy Archive, observation logfiles, quality control files and the previews have their own nomenclature.