Press Release

Astronomy Image Explorer Puts Scientific Graphics at Your Fingertips

By SpaceRef Editor
January 6, 2014
Filed under , ,

IOP Publishing (IOP) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are pleased to announce the launch of the Astronomy Image Explorer (AIE, The AIE provides researchers with quick and easy access to hundreds of thousands of images, illustrations, graphs, charts, and videos that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The AIE has tools designed to aid researchers in their discovery and use of all types of graphic resources and is available free online to scientists and the public alike.

“The new Astronomy Image Explorer is just the latest example of the leadership shown by the AAS and its publishing partners in keeping the astronomical literature at the forefront of electronic publishing,” says AAS President David Helfand (Quest University Canada).

The AIE has been designed as a convenient and efficient tool for researchers to find graphics that have appeared in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal, which IOP publishes for the AAS. “It has been exciting to work with IOP on the creation of the Astronomy Image Explorer,” says Chris Biemesderfer, AAS Director of Publishing. “We’re pleased to offer a new service for the community that can enhance researchers’ explorations in the literature.”

Users can easily search using any combination of author, journal, citation, format, and keywords. Convenient tools are available to generate PowerPoint slides, download high-resolution images, obtain permissions and reuse information, or view the image in the context of the originally published research.

New images are added daily as journal content is published. Resources made available through the AIE are for academic use by the research community. Copyright information is embedded in each file downloaded from the site, along with the journal reference to facilitate proper citation.

“The AAS journals have always been leaders in both the research they publish and the tools and technologies they use,” says Anne Cowley, AAS Publications Board Chair. “The Astronomy Image Explorer is another exciting example of our journals setting the bar higher for the astronomical literature.”


Sharice Collins / Kerry Kroffe

IOP Publishing

+1 215-627-0880 / +1 773-315-3519 /


Rick Fienberg / Chris Biemesderfer

American Astronomical Society

+1 202-328-2010 x116 / +1 202-328-2010 x118 /

The American Astronomical Society (AAS,, established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe. Among its activities, the AAS publishes two of the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field: the Astronomical Journal and the Astrophysical Journal.

IOP Publishing ( provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide. IOP Publishing is central to the Institute of Physics (IOP), a not-for-profit society. Any financial surplus earned by IOP Publishing goes to support science through the activities of IOP. Beyond our traditional journals program, we make high-value scientific information easily accessible through an ever-evolving portfolio of community websites, magazines, conference proceedings and a multitude of electronic services. Focused on making the most of new technologies, we’re continually improving our electronic interfaces to make it easier for researchers to find exactly what they need, when they need it, in the format that suits them best.

The IOP Publishing Journalist Area ( gives journalists access to embargoed press releases, advanced copies of papers, supplementary images and videos. In addition to this, a weekly news digest is uploaded into the Journalist Area every Friday, highlighting a selection of newsworthy papers set to be published in the following week.

The Institute of Physics ( is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organization with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.


SpaceRef staff editor.