Using VAO's Data Discovery Tool:
A step-by-step tutorial

Step-By-Step: A Hubble Space Telescope image of Galaxy M83

  1. Go to
  2. Click the "Launch" button.
    Step 2
  3. In the search box, type "M83". To the right of the search box, you will find the Radius box. Click on the drop-down arrow and select "Deg". This will provide you with more results for your search. To begin your 1-degree search of M83, click on the "Search" button.
    Step 3
  4. You can see the progress of your search at the top left, in percentage of resources searched. An indication that your search is active, i.e. the Data Discovery Tool is continuing to search the online archives, is given by the round spinning search icon in the tab at the top of the search results panel. The total number of rows found from your ongoing search will appear in the lefthand corner of the search window. Click "Refresh Table" to populate the results table at the right with the most recent search results. You may need to do this several times as the table does not automatically fill in new search results as your search continues. In this example, be sure that at least 50% of the resources are searched and "refreshed" in the table before proceeding. Note that, in the top righthand corner of the search results window, the coordinates (associated with M83) and the radius of your search appear.
    Step 4
  5. Step 5
    On the right, you will notice the "AstroView" window, which gives an interactive image of your search object. Here, you can zoom in/out, pan around the image, and use the buttons at the bottom for more interactive options. This image is from the Digitized Sky Survey. This feature gives you sense of what M83 looks like in optical light, but it lacks the high-resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope image we are trying to find in the archive.
  6. You may have hundreds of rows of results. To narrow down your search, you can use the search filters on the left. There, in the "categories" section, select "Images" to narrow down your results to only those catalog entries with images of M83.
    Step 6
  7. You can further narrow down your search by the region of the electromagnetic spectrum observed in the image. In the "waveband" section, select "Optical" to narrow down your search to images of M83 in visible light.
    Step 7
  8. Your table should have fewer results now that you have narrowed your search using the filters on the left. In the search results window, find and select HST PR Images 2008.... You should see a summary window pop open with information about your selection.
    Step 8
  9. Optional: If you want to see all the information on your selection, click on the double arrow in the "Expand for Details" region at the bottom of the Summary window.
    Step 9
  10. To get the Hubble Space Telescope Press-Release images of M83, click on the "Continue to Data" button at the top of the summary window. The images, in different formats (TIFF and JPG), will now load in a new tab in the search window.
    Step 10a
    Step 10b
  11. To tell which image is a jpg, and which is a tiff, you need to tell the table to include that information. Move your mouse to a column heading until you see a drop-down arrow. Click the drop-down arrow, then move your mouse over the "Columns" option to view all available columns that you can have in your table. You will notice that some columns are turned on (check mark) and some are turned off. Select "Format". To see the new "Format" column, you need to minimize the AstroView window. Click on the double-right arrows at the top right of the AstroView window. If you want to keep your AstroView window open, you can instead use the left-right scroll bar at the bottom of the table to read the table contents.
    Step 11
  12. Click on one of the selections in the new search window tab. Here, I choose the top selection (JPG). The pop-up Summary window will now show details of the M83 Hubble Space Telescope Press Release JPG image.
    Step 12
  13. To view details of the image, click on the double arrows to the right of "Expand for Details" at the bottom of the Summary window. To view the image, click on the "resourceurl" link.
    Step 13
  14. To download the image, right-click on the "resourceurl" link in the expanded details section. Click on the "Save link as..." and save it to the desired location on your computer.
    Step 14
  15. If you would like to find other Hubble Press Release images, follow the previous steps with any of the following objects:

Additional Information: