Here is a list of publicly available data sets that may be of interest to the astrostatistics practitioner. This list is by no means exhaustive.

Virtual Observatories

The Virtual Observatory (VO) is the vision that astronomical datasets and other resources should work as a seamless whole. Many projects and data centres worldwide are working towards this goal.
International Virtual Observatory Alliance:
TIP: search the web for virtual observatory to find VO websites.

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

Data hosted at the Solar Influences Data Centre (SIDC), containing images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), two instruments onboard the SDO.

VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS)

VIPERS is an ongoing ESO Large Program to map in detail the spatial distribution of normal galaxies over an unprecedented volume of the z~1 Universe. First public data released on 1 Oct 2013.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy. It obtained deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars. SDSS data have been released to the scientific community and the general public.

SDSS main page:


Volunteers were asked to classify SDSS galaxies as belonging to one of six categories - elliptical, clockwise spiral, anticlockwise spiral, edge-on galaxies, 'star/don't know' or merger. This webpage allows anyone to download the resulting classifications of nearly 900,000 galaxies drawn from the SDSS.

Future initiatives and missions


Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.