ESASky is a website that gives users the ability to access data, from all ESA telescopes in addition to a few JAXA and NASA telescopes, through a single interface. This includes famous telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor the James Webb Space Telescope, but the website does also include loads of less famous telescopes.
Previously, users had to navigate to each telescope archive website, which often vary greatly in both functionality and appearance, to access data. They also needed to have technical knowledge of the specific telescope. ESASky provides a simple, user friendly website that doesn’t require any in-depth technical knowledge of every specific telescope. At the same time ESASky provides visual feedback and gives users access to an ever increasing number of space telescopes through this single website.
The website provides easy-to-use, visual navigation through progressive all sky maps (called HiPS). This allows users to either navigate to the desired location or just search for it in the powerful search box. Users can then see all available observations as well as all catalog data for each telescope in the chosen region. In addition to making all this available through a single website, this also opens the possibility for users to discover new data that they may not have been aware of before. This is especially likely for the high number of scientists that have specialized in a smaller part of the wavelength spectrum.
At this point, the users can preview and download the observations in the form of FITS files, which are scientific image files that contains a lot of relevant metadata. The exact area of the observation is shown as a footprint on the all sky map to give users a visual indication of the extent of each given observation.
On top of this, users can download metadata from the huge telescope archives, which contains petabytes of useful science data. Other powerful tools include (or will soon include) solar system objects, spectral data, time domain data and observation planning tools for the new James Webb Space Telescope.
All this sums up to an application that is leading in its field and enables science exploitation as never seen before in the astronomy scene. You can use ESASky here and read more about it on the ESASky help pages here.