SPectra Analysis and Retrievable Catalog Lab


SPectra Analysis & Retrievable Catalog Lab (SPARCL) at NOIRLab's Astro Data Lab provides flexible access to spectra from large optical and near-infrared surveys. Major elements of SPARCL include capabilities to discover and query for spectra based on parameters of interest, a fast web service that delivers desired spectra either individually or in bulk, and documentation and example Jupyter Notebooks to help users learn to apply all of these elements in their research. See the How To Use SPARCL Jupyter Notebook to get started.

SPARCL currently contains one-dimensional spectroscopic data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), from both the original SDSS spectrograph and the upgraded instrument of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). SPARCL has also been designed to support spectra from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). The data content is tabulated below. View field names and descriptions for each data set by clicking on a data set name.

SPARCL Content

Data Set Public? # of Records Total # of Records Ingested % Records Ingested Last Updated
BOSS-DR16 Yes 3,946,000 3,945,501 100% 1/3/24 20:52
DESI-EDR Yes 2,044,588 2,044,588 100% 12/18/23 05:41
SDSS-DR16 Yes 1,843,200 1,841,208 100% 1/3/24 20:59
SDSS-DR17 No 1,843,200 1,280 0% 1/2/24 21:56
TOTALS 9,676,988 7,832,577 81% 1/3/24 20:59

Installing SPARCL

The SPARCL client can be installed in a user’s local computing environment, and SPARCL can also be used from within NOIRLab’s Astro Data Lab. The sparcl.main table within the Astro Data Lab database enables users to connect complex catalog-driven science queries to science-quality spectra.

The client package is pre-installed in the NOIRLab Astro Data Lab. You can also install the latest release of the SPARCL python client software on your own system via:

pip install sparclclient

The client can be loaded within a Python session or program via:

>> from sparcl.client import SparclClient
>> client = SparclClient()

SPARCL was developed at Astro Data Lab: a part of the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) at NSF’s NOIRLab, the national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

If you use SPARCL in published research please refer to the Acknowledgments page.

For further information, contact

Download the SPARCL User Manual: SPARCL User Manual

API Version: 11.0

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Most Recent ingest: Jan. 3, 2024, 8:59 p.m. (UTC)

Software versions: Django: 4.2.4; Python: 3.10.4; SPARCL git hash: f197f4b4280a7440d6aad75d9e224e87b3beaf15; cache: 28800