Astronomer's Bazaar

The CDS Service for astronomical Catalogues

The Strasbourg astronomical Data Center (CDS) collects and distributes astronomical data catalogues, related to observations of stars and galaxies, and other galactic and extragalactic objects. Catalogues about the solar system bodies and atomic data are also included.

The catalogues and tables managed by CDS can be summarized as follows:

1  Accessing the catalogues

The present interface gives access to the three categories and directs the user to the best way to retrieve the catalogued data:
  1. Query the list of catalogues:

    Enter keywords, author names, or catalogue number and get access to the summary descriptions of the matching catalogues:

  2. Browse the list of catalogues, ordered by decreasing catalogue number, and get access to summary descriptions of each individual catalogue.

  3. VizieR, the service to access this large diversity of astronomical catalogues through a unified interface and a common system of metadata.


2  Tables from Astronomy & Astrophysics and other major journals

Since January 1993, Tables from articles published in Astronomy & Astrophysics are prepared by and made available at CDS, by agreement with the Editor. Tables from the AAS CD-ROMs are made available on-line at CDS by agreement with the AAS. Tables from other major journals are also available.
This service is similar to the one existing for catalogues.

The query mode by keyword and author's name for catalogues covers both catalogues and journal tables.

3  CDS standards for catalogues

Most of the CDS catalogues are available on-line, and have standard documentation and format, following the Standard Description for Astronomical Catalogues.

Information on recently published catalogues and datasets can be found in the regular issues of the CDS Information Bulletin (Bulletin d'Information du CDS)

These catalogues and datasets are currently distributed on magnetic tape, diskettes, CD-ROMs, or via network.

4  Making your catalogue available for distribution

Scientists producing new datasets or astronomical catalogues are encouraged to make their computer-readable material and documentation available for distribution to the worldwide astronomical community, by depositing a copy in one of the international astronomical data centers.

For a rapid insertion into the data center archives and into the VizieR facility, the authors are advised to have a look at the guidelines for the preparation and submission of catalogues. For any question or problem, please contact the CDS specialists at the following e-mail address:

5  Dictionary of Nomenclature of Celestial Objects.

The CDS offers an interactive access to the current on-line version of the Nomenclature, now maintained by CDS, as part of an effort coordinated by IAU Commission 5.
This information is also available in SIMBAD, through the info commands.

6  Client/server routines for catalog queries

A set of client/server routines allows to send remote queries concerning the CDS collection of astronomical catalogues. This includes:

These routines can be installed on your local Unix workstation.

Last update: 27-May-1997