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Catalogue distribution facilities


CDS - Observatoire Astronomique
11 Rue de l'Université
F - 67000 Strasbourg, France


The data available for distribution include the Astronomical Catalogues (see Bull. Inform. CDS 41, 65, 1992) and the published data described in Bull. Inform. CDS 42, 75, 1993. The detailed standards are given in Bull. Inform. CDS 44, 19, 1994.

An access on the World Wide Web is open at URL: (see Bull. Inform. CDS 44, 57, 1994).

Anonymous ftp

An anonymousaccount is a facility to connect from an Internet node via ftp (File Transfer Protocol); the available commands are restricted to moving across directories (cd) and copying files (get or mget). From any Internet node, the connection procedure is the following :

% ftp or ftp
Username: anonymous
Password: Type your full name and the name of your institute

The pub subdirectory contains all public files; once logged, the user has therefore to issue the command

ftp>cd pub

to move to this public directory. The catalogues are stored in the cats/category/number subdirectories, and the published data described in Bull. Inform. CDS 42, p. 75 are located in subdirectories cats/J/Journal/Volume/Page. The full list of catalogues available at CDS may also be retrieved as the files cats/cats.lis (short list), cats/cats.all (full list), or cats/cats.tar.Z (which includes a query program for Unix machines).

The whole set of catalogues is however not available via the anonymous ftp facility; if the catalogue you are interested in is not stored in the pub directories, just send an electronic mail to the question account quoted below: the catalogue would normally be available within 24 hours.

Notice also that large catalogues are frequently stored in Unix compressed format; file names end then with the .Z suffix. Remind that copying such files requires the binary option in the ftp program, and the uncompress program must be applied to the copied file to get the original files.

Finally, notes about the Opacity database described in Bull. Inform. CDS 42, p. 39, are available in the topbase subdirectory.

Electronic Mail

The possibility of sending catalogues by e-mail on Internet, SPAN, or Bitnet/EARN networks is restricted to small files - less than one Megabyte. Note that, when the target machine is a Unix computer, catalogues can be compressedand uucoded before being mailed, which generally allows to triple the maximal size (i.e. up to 3 Mbytes of original data). Don't therefore forget to specify in your order whether your target machine runs Unix.

Magnetic tapes

Data can be distributed on classical 9-track half-inch tapes, at densities of 1600 or 6250 bpi; other possibilities are DEC's TK50 (95 Mbytes), TK70 (290 Mbytes), QIC cartridges (150 Mbytes), or Exabyte (up to 2000 Mbytes on an 8mm video cassette). The Exabyte is however generally not recommended as an exchange media.

The possible formatsfor distribution on these tapes are:


Data can be distributed on PC-compatible diskettes; this facility is however restricted to catalogues requiring only a few diskettes. The available formats are:

Order for astronomical data

The request for data is not limited to the catalogues distributed by CDS; the result from large sampling on SIMBAD may also be sent on magnetic tape or diskettes.

Order for catalogues or data extracted from SIMBAD, on one of these media, as well as any request concerning existing astronomical data, can be sent to:


The anonymous ftp access is free of charge. Whatever needs inhouse handling at CDS will be charged on the following basis:

All orders or requests for information (such as cost estimates) should be sent to:

Checks in French Francs should be labelled to:

Sample order form for catalogs

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