10 Top Astronomy APIs

It seems like everyone loves an Astonomy application. Developers looking to create one can choose from dozens of Applicaton Programming Interfaces, or APIs, from the ProgrammableWeb Astronomy category. There, they can find APIs that provide datasets for stars, planets, moons, satellites, space stations, and other heavenly bodies. Also available are APIs for rocket data and other space data, including space weather, space missions, space travel, orbits, imagery, planet rovers, telescopes, rocket launches, and more.

This article details the top ten Astronomy APIs from our directory based on page visits from our readers.

1. Unofficial SpaceX API

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The Unofficial SpaceX Open Source REST APITrack this API provides rocket, core, capsule, pad, and launch data. This public API does not require Authentication and includes endpoints for launches, rockets, capsules, company info, roadster Info, and others.

2. The Solar System OpenData API

The Solar System OpenData APITrack this API returns astronomical data in JSON format. With the API, developers can implement data about solar system objects, orbitals, physicals, atmosphere, semi-major axis, and planets. The main page shows information in French language.

3. MoonCalc API

The MoonCalc APITrack this API can determine the course of the moon, moonrise, moon angle, full moon and lunar eclipse for any location and time. Both APIs allow users to integrate the calculation of the sun's (or moon's) location that is based on latitude, longitude, date, time and more. They are provided by developer Torsten Hoffman (Hoffisoft).

MoonCalc API

Screenshot: Torsten Hoffman

4. Planet API

Planet Labs provides imagery of the Earth from space to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable. The Planet API integrates Earth satellite images and data in near real-time. Imagery options include scenes and mosaics.

5. NASA Mars Rover Photos API

The NASA Mars Rover Photos APITrack this API enables users to collect image data gathered by NASA's Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit rovers on Mars. Each rover has its own set of photos stored in the database, that are capable of being queried separately. Along with querying by date, results can be filtered by the camera.


The MAAS2 REST APITrack this API provides the latest weather data transmitted by the Curiosity Rover on Mars. This API is built upon the REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station). MAAS2 responds in JSON formatted data.

7. Open Astronomy Catalogs API

The Open Astronomy Catalogs APITrack this API provides machine-readable access to to curated astronomy catalogs, including Supernovae, Tidal Disruptions of Stars, Kilonovae, and Fast Stars. Developers can enable applications to query space catalogues by distance of object, format (example: "Return all supernova metadata in CSV format"), specified attributes ("Redshifts of all supernovae with a redshift reported within 5° of a coordinate"), and more.

Get astronomy data with the Open Astronomy Catalogs API

Get astronomy data with the Open Astronomy Catalogs API. Image: astrocats.space

8. Astro Digital API

Astro Digital provides satellite images from space and makes them available through an API. The Astro Digital REST APITrack this API allows developers to retrieve assets and images, manage tasks and manage users. Their Landmapper satellite constellation produces high pixel quality, global imagery in visible and infrared spectrum for analysis.

9. Where the ISS at? API

Where The ISS At? APITrack this API is a Web Service from developer Bill Shupp that tracks the location of the International Space Station (ISS) in real-time. Where The ISS At provides developer access to its data through a REST API, which delivers current, past, or future positions of the ISS, time zone information for a given coordinate set, or Two Line Element (TLE) data for the space station.

Discover the positon of the ISS with this API

Discover the positon of the ISS with this API. Image: wheretheiss.at

10. Spaceflight News API

Spaceflight News API provides the latest spaceflight related news and blog articles. Developers can integrate an overview of the latest news, and link to the news site by using JSON objects.

Not finding a suitable API for your application in the list above? Fly on over to ProgrammableWeb's Astronomy category, where more than 100 APIs, SDKs, and Source Code Samples are listed.

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