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SciServer offers access to Petabytes of data from a variety of observational astronomy projects. This page describes the resources you can access through SciServer.


MaNGA is a program from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and stands for Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO (Apache Point Observatory).  The MaNGA survey is a wide-field IFU survey of nearby galaxies, producing integral field spectroscopic observations of ~10,000 galaxies, with a goal to map the detailed composition and kinematic structure by measuring spectra for hundreds of points within each galaxy.

For each galaxy, MaNGA produces a range of data products, including 3D IFU Data Cubes, 2D Row-Stacked Spectra (RSS), along with a “model cube” file and “maps” file output from MaNGA’s Data Analysis Pipeline (DAP). The model cube file provides model spectra and relevant masks for every spectrum fit by the DAP. The maps files provide the relevant model properties useful for further science analysis.  All of the data for SDSS MaNGA public release DR15 is available on SciServer.  

Marvin Software

Marvin is a Python software suite for easily accessing, exploring, and visualizing the MaNGA dataset.  This software package is available on SciServer with access to the public SDSS DR15 MaNGA dataset.  The full documentation is located at

Explore MaNGA data online

Interact with MaNGA data from the browser at   Explore individual spaxels and analysis maps for individual galaxies at, for example,  See here for a full description of the available web pages.

Getting Started with MaNGA and Marvin

MaNGA data and Marvin tools can be accessed in SciServer by creating a new compute container using the Marvin compute image and mounting the data volumes Manga (the data source) and Getting Started (the example notebooks).

MaNGA Example Notebooks

The following notebooks are available in the Getting Started data volume, in the SDSS – MaNGA folder:

  • Basics_of_Marvin.ipynb: a basic introduction into the Marvin software and how to access MaNGA data products
  • lean_tutorial.ipynb: a “lean” tutorial highlighting how to access MaNGA data analysis maps, plot BPT diagrams, and select and plot galaxy subset regions, e.g. star-forming spaxels
  • marvin_whan.ipynb: an example science use case of creating and plotting a custom WHAN diagram, i.e. a “Width of Halpha versus NII” diagram, for any particular galaxy of interest.
  • marvin_queries.ipynb: a guide to querying the MaNGA dataset using the Marvin Query system. Learn how to construct simply queries on parameters from the DRPall and DAPall MaNGA summary files, parameters from the NASA-Sloan Atlas catalog (NSA), or on MaNGA targeting flags.
  • Marvin_Results.ipynb: a guide on handling query results via the Marvin Results.  Learn how to page through a set of results, quickly create scatter plots and histograms, and convert results to other formats, e.g. Pandas Dataframes or Marvin Tool objects.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey

SciServer offers the entire catalog dataset of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The latest data is Data Release 16 (DR16), which contains images and spectra for more than 400 million stars and galaxies. You can query, analyze, and visualize the complete DR16 dataset with Python using online notebooks in SciServer Compute, using commands such as:

SciServer.CasJobs.executeQuery("select top 10 * from photoobj", context="DR16")

SciServer also hosts FITS from SDSS Data Release 9 in the SDSS DR9 Imaging data volume, and from Data Releases 1-8 in the SDSS DAS data volume. To use these datasets in your notebooks, mount those data volumes when you create a new compute container.


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