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Routines for accessing a self-hosted local copy of the 2MASS point-source and extended source catalogs (PSC, XSC)

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Py2MASS is used for accessing a locally hosted copy of 2MASS.
More information on 2MASS is available at:

Full copies of the 2MASS point source catalog (PSC) are large:
~40Gigs compressed

(The extended source catalog (XSC) is modest by comparison at <800megs.)

Both are available for download from:

Note that the PSC contains some sources out of order, so you will need
to reprocess the PSC using the included:

A typical usage to fetch a region of the catalog is:

#!/usr/bin/env python

from py2mass import fetch_2mass_psc_box

ra_range = [281., 281.05] # RA is in degrees
dec_range = [-30.6, -30.55] # Dec is in degrees
stars = fetch_2mass_psc_box(ra_range, dec_range)

from py2mass import fetch_2mass_xsc_box

ra_range = [281., 281.05] # RA is in degrees
dec_range = [-30.6, -30.55] # Dec is in degrees
sources = fetch_2mass_xsc_box(ra_range, dec_range)

Note that in all cases the returned object is a `pandas.DataFrame`.

A command line script is also installed that allows direct access via, e.g.:

py2mass [psc|xsc] minRA maxRA minDEC maxDEC [pickle]

psc - 2MASS Point Source Catalog
xsc - 2MASS Extended Source Catalog
Default output is a nicely formatted text table.
Optional keyword (pickle) will dump a pickle of that table,
which can then be read back in from file within python, e.g.:

import pickle
stars = pickle.load(open(filename, 'r'))


Originally written 2014-03-28 by Henry Roe (

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