This Legacy journal article was published in Volume 4, February 1994, and has not been updated since publication. Please use the search facility above to find regularly-updated information about this topic elsewhere on the HEASARC site.

The HEASARC Facility

Karen M. Smale


The Facility

The HEASARC is part of Goddard's Office for Guest Investigator Programs. It houses data from many high energy astrophysics missions, including the Einstein Observatory, EXOSAT and HEAO-1, ROSAT and BBXRT. In the future, the HEASARC will house data from missions such as XTE and ASCA. In addition to these datasets, catalogs and documents are available via the HEASARC On-line Service.

The HEASARC supports the analysis of archival data for local visitors and remote users. It provides:

  • Access to archival data via the HEASARC On-line Service
  • Mission-independant data analysis tools
  • Expertise in analysis techniques and calibrations
  • Documentation

The following software packages are available:

  • interfaces to IDL

A Sun workstation and access to a VAX/VMS system is available for each visitor. A preprint library, reading room (containing recent copies of many popular journals), and bound sets of Ap.J. and A&A are available in the same building as the HEASARC. Fax machines, photocopiers and laser printers are available for HEASARC visitors' use.

A building near the HEASARC contains the extensive Goddard Library and a full-service cafeteria. Library hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Books may only be checked out by Goddard employees but free photocopying is available to any user. The cafeteria offers a large selection of hot and cold food and is open 7:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Snack and cold drink vending machines are available in the same building as the HEASARC. Coffee and tea can also be purchased from the employee club.

The Staff

The HEASARC is supported by several duty scientists, Lorella Angelini, Paul Barrett, Steve Drake, Ian George, Laura Whitlock and Bill Pence. Their resumes are at the back of the first issue of this journal. There are also three support staff programmer/analysts, Karen Smale, Pat Tyler and Brendan Perry. A support scientist is available Monday through Friday between 10 am and 6 pm. HEASARC visitors are free to work outside these hours. A maximum of two groups of HEASARC guest observers can be supported at any given time.

The HEASARC shares a building with Goddard's Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, the ROSAT Guest Observer Facility (GOF), the ASCA GOF and the XTE Science Operations Center allowing interaction with many other scientists for scientific and data-related discussions. A nearby building houses the Compton Observatory Science Support Center.

Booking the Facility

Use of the HEASARC must be prebooked. This will allow a badge to be ready at the main gate and also will prevent the system from becoming overbooked. Booking the HEASARC is done by contacting Karen Smale by one of the following methods:

Telephone: 	(301) 286-7612
Internet:	Feedback
Fax:		(301) 286-1684

Visitors should allow enough advance notice of their visit for the support staff to obtain a badge. For US citizens and Green Card holders, this is a few days. Non-citizens should allow 2 weeks notice and include a visa and passport number with the booking request. Information about local hotels and how to get to GSFC can be obtained when booking the facility.

Visitors to GSFC are welcome to use the HEASARC facilities on a first-come first-served basis, with those who have prebooked having priority.


A remote helpdesk will provide help with software distribution and installation, advice on data analysis problems and bug reports. This help desk is accessed by contacting us via our Feedback form or via the telephone number used for booking the system.

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Last modified: Monday, 19-Jun-2006 11:40:52 EDT