VSTAR Project

Molecular Line Data for Modelling Planetary and Cool Star Atmospheres


This page provides access to molecular spectral line data for the visible and infrared spectral region available on the web. The data has been collected for the VSTAR (Versatile Software for Transfer of Atmospheric Radiation) project at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Molecular line data described here is all freely available on the web (some sites require registration to access data).

If you know of other data that should be included here, please contact me:   j.bailey -at- unsw.edu.au

    Molecular Line Lists (on the web)            Online Tools           Software Tools         


Molecular Line Lists
– Listed here are web sites providing molecular spectral line lists available for download.

HITRAN  –   The HITRAN (HIgh resolution TRANsmission) is a compilation of spectral line data maintained at the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics under the direction of Dr. Laurence S. Rothman. It is a development of the AFCRL project originally dating from the 1960s. The latest edition is HITRAN 2008 containing 2,713,968 lines of 39 molecules. The database is primarily designed for Earth atmosphere applications. Registration is required to access the line data.

HITEMP –  High temperature line database developed in association with HITRAN. Includes line lists for H2O, CO2, CO, OH and NH.

GEISA – The GEISA (Gestion et Etude des Informations Spectroscopiques Atmosphériques) is a compilation similar to HITRAN (in many cases based on the same sources of data) maintained at the LMD (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, France) under the direction of Dr Nicole Jacquinet-Husson. The latest edition is GEISA 2009 containing 3,807,997 lines of 50 molecules.

Kurucz – The web site of Robert L. Kurucz at Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. Here you will find versions of the Partridge & Schwenke H2O line list, the Schwenke TiO list (also known as the AMES lists)  and a range of other molecular and atomic line lists. Also contains software including the ATLAS9 stellar atmosphere code. Alternative link (cfaku5.cfa.harvard.edu).

University College London – Molecular data at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London developed by the group led by Prof. Jonathan Tennyson. Includes the large BT2 line list for H2O (505,806,202 lines) and VTT line list for HDO (697,454,528 lines). The line lists are also available on CDS as VI/119 (BT2) and VI/127 (VTT). Also available here are line lists for NH3 and for HCN/HNC.

CDSD – The Carbon Dioxide Spectroscopic Databank at the V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tomsk. Includes several CO2 line lists for different temperatures, CDSD-296 (419,610 lines for 296K), CDSD-1000 (3,950,553 lines for 1000K), and CDSD-Venus (11,730,277 lines for 750K with a deeper cutoff).

SCAN  (Go to ftp://stella.nbi.dk)  Database of molecular line data due to Uffe Grae Jorgensen at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen. Includes line lists for H2O (100 million lines), TiO, CH, CN and C2.

UGA Molecular Opacity Project – At the Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Georgia. Includes line lists for CaH, MgH, H2, H2+, HD, HeH+, LiH, LiCl

FeH, CrH, TiH line lists on the web site of the group led by Prof Peter Bernath at Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Canada.

TiO line list on the web site of Prof Bertrand Plez at the Groupe de Recherche et Astronomie et Astrophysique du Languedoc.

CO line list due to David Goorvitch on the CDS database.

Low Temperature Methane (CH4) line data  is described on a separate page. This includes recent laboratory data that provides great improvments over the HITRAN 2008 data in the 1.3 to 1.8 micron region.

JPL MkIV FTIR Group – Spectroscopy data on this site includes line data for H2O and N2O due to Robert Toth, and "pseudoline" data for various atmospheric absorbers and collision induced absorptions compiled by Geoffrey Toon et al.



Online Tools that provide access to data on individual bands, lines etc. or enable the plotting of spectra.

SPECTRA Infromation System
– At the Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Tomsk. This tool provides interactive acces to data from line lists including HITRAN, GEISA, HITEMP, CDSD, allowing the investigation of individual bands and isotopologues and the plotting of spectra.

spectrafactory –  A database of synthetic spectra generated from molecular line lists at the resolution of various astronomical instruments. Over half a million model spectra for 39 molecules are included (See:  Cami et al., 2010, ApJS, 187, 409).

VPL Molecular Spectroscopic Database – Data on molecular lines compiled by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory team. Includes an interactive line list plotting tool.



Software Tools available for download that can be used to generate molecular spectral line lists.

STDS  –  the Spherical Top Data System (Wenger & Champion, 1998, JQSRT, 59, 471) can be used to generate line lists (in HITRAN 2004 format) for spherical top molecules with XY4 structures such as methane (CH4) and many similar molecules. Developed by the Institut Carnot de Bourgogne Spectroscopie Moleculaire et Applications group.

HTDS – Highly spherical Top Data System (Wenger et al., 2000, JQSRT, 66, 1). Similar to STDS but for XY6 molecules (e.g. SF6). Developed by the Institut Carnot de Bourgogne Spectroscopie Moleculaire et Applications group.

PGOPHER – This program developed by Dr Colin Western at University of Bristol can be used for fitting or simulating spectra of a range of molecules including linear molecules, symmetric tops and asymmetric tops.