The ever growing rate of research papers published in astronomy has made manual bibliographic searches a prohibitive effort. The identification of the radio sources with other catalogs are especially hard work.
Since several years on-line databases SIMBAD (at the Astronomical Data Center Strasbourg, CDS) and the "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database" NED "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database" (USA, Pasadena), and the "Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database" LEDA, Lyon provide astronomers the main (free!) source of information retrieval on astronomical objects.
While these databases are reasonably complete for information on stars and galaxies, we felt the need to provide access to the overwhelming amount of radio source catalogues and tables with all their data columns. The CATS database you are accessing now was created initially as a system to support the RATAN-600 observations. Now with world-wide Internet access we hope that such a system will be useful for the entire astronomical community.
The large majority of over THREE million different radio sources catalogued by now have not been optically identified and their nature is largely unknown. The classic example is the source 4C+04.66 known from 60ies. Only in 1978 it was identified with the famous X-ray and optical binary, and probable black hole, SS433.
In the "CATS wall" below we list (by their short names) only a few of
the well-known catalogues now available through CATS.
But these acronyms sound familiar as the names of old friends.
Clicking the ``mouse'' on one of these catalogues, will display the documentation for this survey.
In Russia the group of the A. Gubanov of St.-Petersburg State University's Astronomical Institute (SPbU AI) has accumulated published data on radio emission from sources towards clusters of galaxies. These data are being integrated in the database of clusters of galaxies that will be supplied and will be accessible via Internet. This group has already prepared the database of Radio astronomical catalogues RAC . available on-line on the Internet.
|CATS list of catalogs .|
The politics of including the catalogs in CATS are based on three principles:
to include all radio catalogs, based on radio surveys;
to include most of non-stellar catalogs of objects;
to include most of non-radio catalogs, using radio data;
We constructed our database in the UNIX operating system without involving any standard data base systems for two main reasons: (a) they are very expensive commercial products; (b) there are no human resources to develop them in observatory.
Therefore we designed our database using simple principles, permitting us to update it with new information easily:
To simplify the design of CATS operating programs, two utilities named 'select' and 'match' are provided. These utilities operate with a pattern string, describing a format of the ASCII table with astrophysical data.
A user operates with CATS from any directory since the programs for general use of the catalogs are accessible system-wide.
The described manner of catalog storage eases the database development, its expansion with new data and the fine-tuning of the supporting programs.
All astronomical catalogs have a different format and list different observables. It has been a major challenge to provide uniform access to such a heterogeneous collection of data sets based on different methods, using different notations and units (in the absence of a ``standard'' to create catalogs). To satisfy the different needs of users we provide the result of searches through ALL catalogs in two different ways: one is an ordered table with the same basic data from the various catalogues in a homogenized format, while the other provides the result in the native format of each catalogue, listing all the orginally published data columns.
CATS is (and will) capable to accomplish the following tasks:
Below examples of commamds for search are given if the email access in CATS is used (details if you send letter without text to email@example.com ):
mail -s "" firstname.lastname@example.org cats select ra min=12:30 max=12:40:15. dec > 0 < 5' 46" catalogs r epoch=1950 flux > 0.5 out fits, size=50 cats end
mail -s "" email@example.com cats match catalogs a window box x=60" y=40' sources: s1 02:02:00 +31:23:16 1950 s2 02:23:10 00:03:00 1950 s3 21:26:33.9 -18:34:33.0 1950 cats end
The authors are grateful to RFBR for support of this project under grant No 96-07-89075.
Here you can get the CATS booklet file 0CATS_booklet.ps.gz or 4 pages at two a4-lists:
booklet (page1) booklet (page2)
Trushkin S.A., Andernach H., Micol A., Gubanov A.G., Verkhodanov O.V., Titov V.B., Chernenkov V.N. Public Databases for Radio Astronomy: a joint venture between East and West. In Proc. of the Third International Workshop on "Advances in Databases and Information Systems". 1996, Sept.10-13. Moscow Engineering Physical Inst. Publishing, V.2, p. 37-41.
Andernach H., Trushkin S.A., Gubanov A.G., Verkhodanov O.V., Titov V.B., Micol A. Preparing a public database of radio sources. Baltic Astronomy, 1997, V.6, No 2. P.259-262.
Verkhodanov O.V., Trushkin S.A., Chernenkov V.N. CATS: a database system of astrophysical catalogues. Baltic Astronomy, 1997, V.6, No 2. P.275-278.
Verkhodanov O.V., Trushkin S.A., Andernach H., Chernenkov V.N. 1997. The CATS database to operate with astrophysical catalogs. In "Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VI", eds. G.Hunt and H.E.Payne. ASP Conference Series, V.125, P.322-325.
Andernach H., Trushkin S. "Current Status of Radio Source Databases" (in Proc. "Observational Cosmology with the New Radio Surveys", eds. M. Bremer, N. Jackson & I. Perez-Fournon, Kluwer Acad. Press. ASSL vol. 226, p.67-68 (astro-ph/9703141).
Verkhodanov O.V., Chernenkov V.N., Trushkin S.A. 1997. Furter advance in the CATS database operation. First year of WWW access. In Proc. of the First East-Europian Symposium on Advances in Databases and Information Systems (ADBIS'97). St.Petersburg University, September 2-5, 1997. Publishing "Nevsky Dialect". V.2, p. 73-77.
Verkhodanov O.V., Kononov V.K., Trushkin S.A., Chernenkov V.N. System of description of galactic and extragalactic sources. XXVII radio asctronomical. conf., SPb. IAA RAS, 1997, v.1, 316-329.
Trushkin S.A., Verkhodanov O.V. Priperties of objectsa of ITA-catalog, spectra and NVSS identifications XXVII radio asctronomical. conf., SPb. IAA RAS, 1997, v.1, 328-329.
Verkhodanov O.V., Trushkin S.A. Cross-identifiation of Texas catalog at 365 íHz and three IRAS catalogs XXVII radio asctronomical. conf., SPb. IAA RAS, 1997, v.1, 332-334.
Verkhodanov O.V., Chernenkov V.N., Trushkin S.A. System of search of the astrophysical information in CATS database. XXVII radio asctronomical. conf., SPb. IAA RAS, 1997, v.1, 324-325.