Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, CDS, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, UMR 7550

Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information

Abstract Reference: 30265
Identifier: O3.3
Presentation: Oral communication
Key Theme: 4 Long-term Management of Data Archives

What is SIMBAD, and what is it not?

Loup Cécile, Allen Mark, Oberto Anais, Soizick Lesteven, Boch Thomas, 

SIMBAD is a dynamic database of astronomical objects that have been presented in scientific articles. It provides the bibliography, as well as basic information such as the nature of the object, its coordinates, magnitudes, proper motions and parallax, velocity/redshift, angular size, spectral or morphological type, and the multitude of names  (identifiers) given in the literature. The information in SIMBAD is a compilation built from what is published in the literature with expert  cross-identification performed at the CDS based on the compatibility of several parameters, in the limit of reasonably good astrometry. The SIMBAD database is made available as a major reference service of the CDS with a number of different interfaces such as web interface, a name resolving service, a scripting interface, a TAP service plus others. It  is a heavily used database with some 200,000 to 500,000 queries per day. This presentation highlights some of the most used features and the relationship of SIMBAD to other CDS services in particular to the CDS catalogue service VizieR. We identify some of the most common  misunderstandings about SIMBAD in terms of astronomical and technical service use, and highlight the role of SIMBAD in the rapidly evolving landscape of journal publishing and on-line astronomy services.