The Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS; English translation: Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center) is a data hub which collects and distributes astronomical information. It was established in 1972 under the name Centre de Données Stellaires. The on-line services currently provided by the CDS include:
Aladin is an interactive software sky atlas allowing the user to visualize digitized astronomical images, superimpose entries from astronomical catalogues or databases, and interactively access related data and information from the SIMBAD database, the VizieR service and other archives for all known sources in the field.
Created in 1999, Aladin has become a widely used VO portal capable of addressing challenges such as locating data of interest, accessing and exploring distributed datasets, visualizing multi-wavelength data. Compliance with existing or emerging VO standards, interconnection with other visualisation or analysis tools, ability to easily compare heterogeneous data are key topics allowing Aladin to be a powerful data exploration and integration tool as well as a science enabler.
Aladin is developed and maintained by the Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS) and released under the GNU GPL v3.Andromeda (constellation)
Andromeda is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. Located north of the celestial equator, it is named for Andromeda, daughter of Cassiopeia, in the Greek myth, who was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus. Andromeda is most prominent during autumn evenings in the Northern Hemisphere, along with several other constellations named for characters in the Perseus myth. Because of its northern declination, Andromeda is visible only north of 40° south latitude; for observers farther south, it lies below the horizon. It is one of the largest constellations, with an area of 722 square degrees. This is over 1,400 times the size of the full moon, 55% of the size of the largest constellation, Hydra, and over 10 times the size of the smallest constellation, Crux.
Its brightest star, Alpha Andromedae, is a binary star that has also been counted as a part of Pegasus, while Gamma Andromedae is a colorful binary and a popular target for amateur astronomers. Only marginally dimmer than Alpha, Beta Andromedae is a red giant, its color visible to the naked eye. The constellation's most obvious deep-sky object is the naked-eye Andromeda Galaxy (M31, also called the Great Galaxy of Andromeda), the closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way and one of the brightest Messier objects. Several fainter galaxies, including M31's companions M110 and M32, as well as the more distant NGC 891, lie within Andromeda. The Blue Snowball Nebula, a planetary nebula, is visible in a telescope as a blue circular object.
In Chinese astronomy, the stars that make up Andromeda were members of four different constellations that had astrological and mythological significance; a constellation related to Andromeda also exists in Hindu mythology. Andromeda is the location of the radiant for the Andromedids, a weak meteor shower that occurs in November.Aries (constellation)
Aries is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is located in the northern celestial hemisphere between Pisces to the west and Taurus to the east. The name Aries is Latin for ram, and its symbol is (Unicode ♈), representing a ram's horns. It is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is a mid-sized constellation, ranking 39th overall size, with an area of 441 square degrees (1.1% of the celestial sphere).
Although Aries came to represent specifically the ram whose fleece became the Golden Fleece of Ancient Greek mythology, it has represented a ram since late Babylonian times. Before that, the stars of Aries formed a farmhand. Different cultures have incorporated the stars of Aries into different constellations including twin inspectors in China and a porpoise in the Marshall Islands. Aries is a relatively dim constellation, possessing only four bright stars: Hamal (Alpha Arietis, second magnitude), Sheratan (Beta Arietis, third magnitude), Mesarthim (Gamma Arietis, fourth magnitude), and 41 Arietis (also fourth magnitude). The few deep-sky objects within the constellation are quite faint and include several pairs of interacting galaxies. Several meteor showers appear to radiate from Aries, including the Daytime Arietids and the Epsilon Arietids.Auriga (constellation)
Auriga is one of the 88 modern constellations; it was among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy. Located north of the celestial equator, its name is the Latin word for “the charioteer”, associating it with various mythological beings, including Erichthonius and Myrtilus. Auriga is most prominent during winter evenings in the northern Hemisphere, along with the five other constellations that have stars in the Winter Hexagon asterism. Because of its northern declination, Auriga is only visible in its entirety as far as 34° south; for observers farther south it lies partially or fully below the horizon. A large constellation, with an area of 657 square degrees, it is half the size of the largest constellation, Hydra.
Its brightest star, Capella, is an unusual multiple star system among the brightest stars in the night sky. Beta Aurigae is an interesting variable star in the constellation; Epsilon Aurigae, a nearby eclipsing binary with an unusually long period, has been studied intensively. Because of its position near the winter Milky Way, Auriga has many bright open clusters in its borders, including M36, M37, and M38, popular targets for amateur astronomers. In addition, it has one prominent nebula, the Flaming Star Nebula, associated with the variable star AE Aurigae.
In Chinese mythology, Auriga's stars were incorporated into several constellations, including the celestial emperors' chariots, made up of the modern constellation's brightest stars. Auriga is home to the radiant for the Aurigids, Zeta Aurigids, Delta Aurigids, and the hypothesized Iota Aurigids.Corona Australis
Corona Australis is a constellation in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere. Its Latin name means "southern crown", and it is the southern counterpart of Corona Borealis, the northern crown. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. The Ancient Greeks saw Corona Australis as a wreath rather than a crown and associated it with Sagittarius or Centaurus. Other cultures have likened the pattern to a turtle, ostrich nest, a tent, or even a hut belonging to a rock hyrax.
Although fainter than its northern counterpart, the oval- or horseshoe-shaped pattern of its brighter stars renders it distinctive. Alpha and Beta Coronae Australis are the two brightest stars with an apparent magnitude of around 4.1. Epsilon Coronae Australis is the brightest example of a W Ursae Majoris variable in the southern sky. Lying alongside the Milky Way, Corona Australis contains one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System—a dusty dark nebula known as the Corona Australis Molecular Cloud, lying about 430 light years away. Within it are stars at the earliest stages of their lifespan. The variable stars R and TY Coronae Australis light up parts of the nebula, which varies in brightness accordingly.General Catalogue of Variable Stars
The General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS) is a list of variable stars. Its first edition, containing 10,820 stars, was published in 1948 by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and edited by B. V. Kukarkin and P. P. Parenago. Second and third editions were published in 1958 and 1968; the fourth edition, in three volumes, was published 1985–1987. It contained 28,435 stars. A fourth volume of the fourth edition containing reference tables was later published, as well as a fifth volume containing variable stars outside the Galaxy. The last edition (GCVS v5.1) based on data compiled in 2015 gathers 52011 variable stars.
The most up-to-date version of the GCVS is available at the GCVS website. It contains improved coordinates for the variable stars in the printed fourth edition of the GCVS, as well as variable stars discovered too recently to be included in the fourth edition. An older version of the GCVS dating from 2004 is available from the VizieR service at the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg under the name Combined General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS4.2; VizieR database number II/250).Grus (constellation)
Grus (, or colloquially ) is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the crane, a type of bird. It is one of twelve constellations conceived by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Grus first appeared on a 35-centimetre-diameter (14-inch) celestial globe published in 1598 in Amsterdam by Plancius and Jodocus Hondius and was depicted in Johann Bayer's star atlas Uranometria of 1603. French explorer and astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille gave Bayer designations to its stars in 1756, some of which had been previously considered part of the neighbouring constellation Piscis Austrinus. The constellations Grus, Pavo, Phoenix and Tucana are collectively known as the "Southern Birds".
The constellation's brightest star, Alpha Gruis, is also known as Alnair and appears as a 1.7-magnitude blue-white star. Beta Gruis is a red giant variable star with a minimum magnitude of 2.3 and a maximum magnitude of 2.0. Six star systems have been found to have planets: the red dwarf Gliese 832 is one of the closest stars to Earth to have a planetary system. Another—WASP-95—has a planet that orbits every two days. Deep-sky objects found in Grus include the planetary nebula IC 5148, also known as the Spare Tyre Nebula, and a group of four interacting galaxies known as the Grus Quartet.HD 107914
HD 107914 is a binary star in the constellation Centaurus, with an estimated distance of 255.5 light-years (78.3 pc) from the Solar System. The primary has a stellar classification of A7-8 III, making it a giant star.
Measurement of the proper motion of this system show that it has a low transverse velocity relative to the Sun. For this reason, it has been compared to the hypothetical "Nemesis" star since it may pass through the Oort cloud in the future. The star is too far away to be a companion to the Sun. However, preliminary measurements of the H-alpha line in the star's spectrum show a radial velocity in the range from –13 to +3 km/s. (This result was obtained by M. Muterspaugh and M. Williamson at a robotic spectroscopic telescope in Arizona.) Such values for the radial velocity are too small to produce a likely collision course with the Solar System. For example, if Vr = –10 km/s, then the distance from the Sun to HD 107914 at closest approach will be about 5.2 ly (1.6 pc).Leo Minor
Leo Minor is a small and faint constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere. Its name is Latin for "the smaller lion", in contrast to Leo, the larger lion. It lies between the larger and more recognizable Ursa Major to the north and Leo to the south. Leo Minor was not regarded as a separate constellation by classical astronomers; it was designated by Johannes Hevelius in 1687.There are 37 stars brighter than apparent magnitude 6.5 in the constellation; three are brighter than magnitude 4.5. 46 Leonis Minoris, an orange giant of magnitude 3.8, is located some 95 light-years from Earth. At magnitude 4.4, Beta Leonis Minoris is the second-brightest star and the only one in the constellation with a Bayer designation. It is a binary star, the brighter component of which is an orange giant and the fainter a yellow-white main sequence star. The third-brightest star is 21 Leonis Minoris, a rapidly rotating white main-sequence star of average magnitude 4.5. The constellation also includes two stars with planetary systems, two pairs of interacting galaxies, and the unique deep-sky object Hanny's Voorwerp.List of selected stars for navigation
Fifty-eight selected navigational stars are given a special status in the field of celestial navigation. Of the approximately 6,000 stars visible to the naked eye under optimal conditions, the selected stars are among the brightest and span 38 constellations of the celestial sphere from the declination of −70° to +89°. Many of the selected stars were named in antiquity by the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs.
The star Polaris, often called the "North Star", is treated specially due to its proximity to the north celestial pole. When navigating in the Northern Hemisphere, special techniques can be used with Polaris to determine latitude or gyrocompass error. The other 57 selected stars have daily positions given in nautical almanacs, aiding the navigator in efficiently performing observations on them. A second group of 115 "tabulated stars" can also be used for celestial navigation, but are often less familiar to the navigator and require extra calculations.
For purposes of identification, the positions of navigational stars — expressed as declination and sidereal hour angle — are often rounded to the nearest degree. In addition to tables, star charts provide an aid to the navigator in identifying the navigational stars, showing constellations, relative positions, and brightness.Messier 100
Messier 100 (also known as NGC 4321) is an example of a grand design intermediate spiral galaxy located within the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices. It is one of the brightest and largest galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, located approximately 55 million light-years distant from Earth and has a diameter of 167,000 light years and contains 1 trillion stars, roughly the size of the Milky Way. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 15, 1781 and was subsequently entered in Messier's catalogue of nebulae and star clusters after Charles Messier made observations of his own on April 13, 1781. The galaxy was one of the first spiral galaxies to be discovered, and was listed as one of fourteen spiral nebulae by Lord William Parsons of Rosse in 1850. Two satellite galaxies named NGC 4323--connected with M100 by a bridge of luminous matter--and NGC 4328 surround M100.NGC 5011
NGC 5011 is an elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus. It was discovered on 3 June 1834 by John Herschel. It was described as "pretty bright, considerably small, round, among 4 stars" by John Louis Emil Dreyer, the compiler of the New General Catalogue.Observatory of Strasbourg
The Observatory of Strasbourg is an astronomical observatory in Strasbourg, France.
Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the city of Strasbourg became part of the German Empire. The University of Strasbourg was refounded in 1872 and a new observatory began construction in 1875 in the Neustadt district. The main instrument was a 50 cm Repsold refractor, which saw first light in 1880 (see Great refractor). At the time this was the largest instrument in the German Empire. In 1881, the ninth General Assembly of the Astronomische Gesellschaft met in Strasbourg to mark the official inauguration.The observatory site was selected primarily for instruction purposes and political symbolism, rather than the observational qualities. It was a low-lying site that was prone to mists. During the period up until 1914, the staff was too small to work the instruments and so there was little academic research published prior to World War I. The main observations were of comets and variable stars. After 1909, the instruments were also used to observe binary stars and perform photometry of nebulae.The observatory is currently the home for the Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg, a database for the collection and distribution of astronomical information. This includes SIMBAD, a reference database for astronomical objects, VizieR, an astronomical catalogue service and Aladin, an interactive sky atlas. The modern extension of the building houses Planétarium de Strasbourg. The observatory is surrounded by the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg.
In the vaulted basement below the observatory, a University-administered museum is located. Called Crypte aux étoiles ("star crypt"), it displays old telescopes and other antique astronomical devices such as clocks and theodolites.Perseus (constellation)
Perseus is a constellation in the northern sky, being named after the Greek mythological hero Perseus. It is one of the 48 ancient constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and among the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It is located near several other constellations named after ancient Greek legends surrounding Perseus, including Andromeda to the west and Cassiopeia to the north. Perseus is also bordered by Aries and Taurus to the south, Auriga to the east, Camelopardalis to the north, and Triangulum to the west. Some star atlases during the early 19th century also depicted Perseus holding the disembodied head of Medusa, whose asterism was named together as Perseus et Caput Medusae, however, this never came into popular usage.
The galactic plane of the Milky Way passes through Perseus, whose brightest star is the yellow-white supergiant Alpha Persei (also called Mirfak), which shines at magnitude 1.79. It and many of the surrounding stars are members of an open cluster known as the Alpha Persei Cluster. The best-known star, however, is Algol (Beta Persei), linked with ominous legends because of its variability, which is noticeable to the naked eye. Rather than being an intrinsically variable star, it is an eclipsing binary. Other notable star systems in Perseus include X Persei, a binary system containing a neutron star, and GK Persei, a nova that peaked at magnitude 0.2 in 1901. The Double Cluster, comprising two open clusters quite near each other in the sky, was known to the ancient Chinese. The constellation gives its name to the Perseus cluster (Abell 426), a massive galaxy cluster located 250 million light-years from Earth. It hosts the radiant of the annual Perseids meteor shower—one of the most prominent meteor showers in the sky.SIMBAD
SIMBAD (the Set of Identifications, Measurements and Bibliography for Astronomical Data) is an astronomical database of objects beyond the Solar System. It is maintained by the Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), France.
SIMBAD was created by merging the Catalog of Stellar Identifications (CSI) and the Bibliographic Star Index as they existed at the Meudon Computer Centre until 1979, and then expanded by additional source data from other catalogues and the academic literature. The first on-line interactive version, known as Version 2, was made available in 1981. Version 3, developed in the C language and running on UNIX stations at the Strasbourg Observatory, was released in 1990. Fall of 2006 saw the release of Version 4 of the database, now stored in PostgreSQL, and the supporting software, now written entirely in Java.
As of 10 February 2017, SIMBAD contains information for 9,099,070 objects under 24,529,080 different names, with 327,634 bibliographical references and 15,511,733 bibliographic citations.
The minor planet 4692 SIMBAD was named in its honour.Tau Eridani
Tau Eridani (τ Eridani, τ Eri) is a group of fairly widely scattered stars in the constellation Eridanus.
They form an exception to the general rule that stars that share the same Bayer designation are close together: τ1 is nearly 20° away from τ9 (Pi Orionis is another example of this).
τ1 Eridani (1 Eridani)
τ2 Eridani (2 Eridani)
τ3 Eridani (11 Eridani)
τ4 Eridani (16 Eridani)
τ5 Eridani (19 Eridani)
τ6 Eridani (27 Eridani)
τ7 Eridani (28 Eridani)
τ8 Eridani (33 Eridani)
τ9 Eridani (36 Eridani)All of them were member of asterism 天苑 (Tiān Yuàn), Celestial Meadows, Hairy Head mansion.Triangulum Australe
Triangulum Australe is a small constellation in the far Southern Celestial Hemisphere. Its name is Latin for "the southern triangle", which distinguishes it from Triangulum in the northern sky and is derived from the almost equilateral pattern of its three brightest stars. It was first depicted on a celestial globe as Triangulus Antarcticus by Petrus Plancius in 1589, and later with more accuracy and its current name by Johann Bayer in his 1603 Uranometria. The French explorer and astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille charted and gave the brighter stars their Bayer designations in 1756.
Alpha Trianguli Australis, known as Atria, is a second-magnitude orange giant and the brightest star in the constellation, as well as the 42nd-brightest star in the night sky. Completing the triangle are the two white main sequence stars Beta and Gamma Trianguli Australis. Although the constellation lies in the Milky Way and contains many stars, deep-sky objects are not prominent. Notable features include the open cluster NGC 6025 and planetary nebula NGC 5979.Tucana
Tucana is a constellation of stars in the southern sky, named after the toucan, a South American bird. It is one of twelve constellations conceived in the late sixteenth century by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Tucana first appeared on a 35-centimetre-diameter (14 in) celestial globe published in 1598 in Amsterdam by Plancius and Jodocus Hondius and was depicted in Johann Bayer's star atlas Uranometria of 1603. French explorer and astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille gave its stars Bayer designations in 1756. The constellations Tucana, Grus, Phoenix and Pavo are collectively known as the "Southern Birds".
Tucana is not a prominent constellation as all of its stars are third magnitude or fainter; the brightest is Alpha Tucanae with an apparent visual magnitude of 2.87. Beta Tucanae is a star system with six member stars, while Kappa is a quadruple system. Five star systems have been found to have exoplanets to date. The constellation contains 47 Tucanae, one of the brightest globular clusters in the sky, and most of the Small Magellanic Cloud.VizieR
The VizieR Catalogue Service is an astronomical catalog service provided by Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg.
The origin of the VizieR Catalogue Service dates back to 1993 as the ESA European Space Information System Catalogue Browser. Initially intended to serve the Space Science community, the ESIS project pre-dates the World Wide Web as a network database allowing uniform access to a heterogeneous set of catalogues and data.
The Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg had for years collected and disseminated astronomical data, so the original ESIS Catalogue Browser was transferred to and stored at CDS. Since its inception in 1996, VizieR has become a reference point for astronomers worldwide engaged in research, who come to access catalogued data regularly published in astronomical journals. The new VizieR service was refurbished in 1997 by the CDS to better serve the community in terms of searching capabilities and data volume. As of March 2012 it contains more than 9800 catalogues.The VizieR catalog is now a major data source as part of the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory.