Introduction to STARS and How to Receive-Data at the Subaru Telescope

Introduction to STARS

What is STARS?

The STARS Archive stores observation data and logs from many instruments connected to the Subaru Telescope and makes the files available to download for researchers and engineers.

The STARS Archive in Hilo-Hawaii is mirrored by the MASTARS Archive in Mitaka-Japan and download is available from both Hawaii and Japan.

Who can use STARS?

STARS is a private archive for astronomers with approved observation-proposals on the Subaru Telescope, and their staff. Co-Investigators must be approved by the Principal Investigator, and CoI/Observer accounts are NOT automatically setup prior to observation, except by PI request.

How do I get a STARS account?

If you are past or current PI: your account exists - request 'Change-Password' if your password is not known. If you are CoI, please have your PI send email to to receive account, including your full name, email, and ProposalID to assign to your login, like o08121.

How long will my account be active? and What if I cannot login?

Your STARS account will last for the lifetime of the Subaru project. We have recently increased security by requiring users to Change-Password and disabling accounts for anyone who was unable to Change-Password. If you cannot login - but know your login is correct, request 'Change-Password' to

What if I have trouble?

If you have any questions, or If you have a STARS account but do not know the login and/or password, send request for login name or 'Change-Password' in email to

What about HSC users?

HSC requires observers to access 'HSC Observing Log' using their individual STARS login/password. If you are observing with HSC, you will need to confirm your STARS login/password BEFORE the night's observation. If you have trouble with 'HSC Observing Log', please contact your SA - who has access to Change-Password procedure.

Receiving Data from STARS Query/Archive

There are five redundant paths for receiving data from the Subaru Telescope:

(during observation onsite)
During observation, onsite observers use ProposalID accounts (e.g, o08121) to access SUMDA Servers to reduce or FTP data. Onsite observers can FTP to local laptops or offsite servers at their home institute.
(during observation offsite)
Users access Summit GERS with SSH Keys and receive data during the night.
3.STARS Archive
(after observation)
Throughout the night, all observation data is forwarded to the STARS Archives for long-term storage. The STARS Archives consist of mirrored download archives in Hawaii and Japan, and a single query server in Hawaii. After observation, PIs and CoIs worldwide may access STARS with individual accounts (e.g., smithb) and query accessible ProposalIDs (e.g., o08121) to receive download links from both Hawaii and Japan Archives. These links are only active for 90 days.
4.NextDay Delivery email
(next day after observation)
After 14:00 HST every day, STARS sends a 'NextDay Delivery' email to the PI with last night's data queried and queued for download. The email includes download links for Hawaii and Japan Archives. This email may be forwarded to CoIs. These links are only active for 90 days.
5.SMOKA Archive
(after 18 months)
18 months after observation, observation data is forwarded to the SMOKA Archive in Japan and released to the general astronomy community through SMOKA's query system. SMOKA access requires a separate account.

Note 1: Data in STARS Archives continue to be available after 18 months.

Note 2: SUMDA has /work areas for data reduction during observation. These /work areas are not protected and can be recycled for free space AT ANY TIME. If you have /work data you wish to keep, please transfer the data to your laptop/home institute before leaving the summit. Data in /work areas can be erased without notice if disk usage is high.

STARS Query:

If you ARE observing at Subaru, use SUMDA while here, STARS Query afterwards.

Observing PI: During your observation, data is available from SUMDA with ProposalID logins only (ie, o08121). Your STARS User account has been created, and you can access STARS Query at any time. Your STARS User Account will allow you to access STARS data through the internet after observation.
Observing CoI: You may FTP data from SUMDA to your laptop or your home institute. You DO NOT need a STARS User account to receive data at summit, as data is available from SUMDA with ProposalID logins only (ie, o08121).

If you ARE NOT observing at Subaru, use STARS Query.

Non-Observing PI: Your STARS User account has been created, and you can access STARS Query. Your Observing Co-I can receive data during observation without a STARS User account.
Non-Observing CoI: If you are listed on the PIs Proposal application as a CoI, request STARS account and we will create account and assign ProposalID. If you are not listed on the PIs Proposal Application, you MUST get PI approval first.

1 Minute STARS - Tutorial

Probably, you have already been assigned a STARS User account and password and your Proposal IDs have been assigned to your STARS User account. Observers receive a letter on arrival in Hilo that detail the STARS User and ProposalID accounts for the observation. STARS User and Proposal ID information is sent through email for non-attending observers. User accounts are in the format: smithb. ProposalIDs are in the format: o07428.

9 ( or 10 ) Steps to Receive Data:
  1. access ''
  2. validate login and password (STARS User account format is 'bsmith')
  3. select 'Search by ProposalID and Instrument'
  4. Choose the correct ProposalID from table. Data is displayed in new window. Confirm results in table or enter additional parameters and select 'Search'.
  5. When Search results are correct and you are ready to download, select 'Store Query'
  6. 'Last Stored Query' link appears in yellow (below parameter box and above results table). Select 'Last Stored Query' link.
  7. There is displayed sets of URL links for archive-route-protocol-authentication.
    You have two options, either do #8-9 or skip to #10-12.
  8. You are sent 'Stored Query' email with attachment SQuery.tar for Linux, download attachment from email.
  9. After download the attachment S2Query.tar to a Linux computer, place in download dir, execute {'tar -xvf ./S2Query.tar', then './zadmin/'} and choose the correct archive-route-protocol-authentication for your location.
    Or from Step 7...
  10. From the links on display, choose the closest archive to your location.
  11. If you have chosen links, you may be required to enter login and password as needed
  12. When FITS files are displayed, use a Download Manager like DownThemAll for Firefox for easy multifile selection, authentication, and parallel download.

Any questions, comments, or problems are welcome at

Update: 2013/05/13 by Winegar
Update: 2009/02/13 by Winegar
Update: 2008/10/28 by Winegar
Update: 2008/08/01 by Winegar