CDS, Strasbourg
Centre de Données astronomiques
de Strasbourg

A Data Center at the Hub of International Cooperation Strasbourg astronomical Data Center (CDS) is dedicated to the collection and worldwide distribution of astronomical data and related information.

The CDS hosts the SIMBAD astronomical database, the world reference database for the identification of astronomical objects; VizieR, the catalogue service for the CDS reference collection of astronomical catalogues and tables published in academic journals; and the Aladin interactive software sky atlas for access, visualization and analysis of astronomical images, surveys, catalogues, databases and related data.

The CDS mission is to:

  • collect useful information concerning astronomical objects that is available in computerized form;
  • upgrade these data by critical evaluations and comparisons;
  • distribute the results to the astronomical community;
  • conduct research, using these data.

Maintenance, Innovation and Sustainability Alongside data curation and service maintenance responsibilities, the CDS undertakes R&D activities that are fundamental to ensure the long term sustainability in a domain in which technology evolves very quickly. R&D areas include informatics, big data, and development of the astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO). CDS is a major actor in the VO with leading roles in European VO projects, the French Virtual Observatory and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA).

Cooperation The CDS cooperates with the French Space Agency CNES, European Space Agency ESA, European Southern Observatory ESO, NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (with a long term collaboration with the Astrophysics Data System ADS and the NASA Extragalactic Database NED), astronomical academic journals, and with other data and service providers around the world such as the Inter-University Centre of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), the National Observatory of China (NAOC), the National Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), and the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INASAN). CDS hosts mirrors of NASA ADS and of the Astronomy and Astrophysics international journal. CDS contributes to the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre in collaboration with the High-Energy team of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory.

CDS is a member of the World Data System of the International Council for Science ICSU.

History The CDS was created in 1972 as the Stellar Data Centre and changed its name to Strasbourg astronomical Data Centre in 1983. The CDS has been a pioneer in the dissemination of added-value digital scientific data. Major milestones include the revolution of web technologies in the 1990's, and the development of the international Virtual Observatory starting in ~2000.

Organisation and personnel The CDS is located at the Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, France. The CDS is under the responsibility of the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU) of the CNRS, acting in agreement with the University of Strasbourg. It is one of the Very Large Research Infrastructures (Très Grande Infrastructure de Recherche or TGIR) of the French Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche. It is also a team of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, a joint research unit of CNRS-INSU and the University of Strasbourg.

The CDS team includes about 30 people (June 2012), of profiles nearly equally shared between astronomers, specialized librarians and software engineers.

Contact us Address:
Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg
Observatoire de Strasbourg
11, rue de l'Université - 67000 STRASBOURG, France

Tel: +33-(0)3 68 85 24 75 - Fax: +33-(0)3 68 85 24 17


© Université de Strasbourg/CNRS

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