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Active database of astrophysical catalogs at the RATAN-600

Verkhodanov O.V., Trushkin S.A.

Abstract. Active database of astrophysical (radio and other) catalogs, allowing the user to operate in the local computer net of the Special astrophysical observatory, is created. This database can execute in the command or dialog mode the following operations:

1) obtaning of a list and parameters of catalogs;

2) selection from one or several catalogs using various parameters: equatorial and galactic coordinates, flux densities and spectral indices, frequencies and names of catalogs unified in the mixed catalogs as in MASTER.LIST;

3) selection of objects of a user's list from one or several catalogs.

This database is open for expanding. At present it unifies about 30 catalogs including all the RATAN-600 catalogs, the catalog MASTER.LIST of Dixon, the catalogs of the Northen Sky surveys in Green Bank at 4.85 and 1.4 GHz, the catalog of the Texas survey at 365 MHz, the catalog of the IRAS experiment and others.

На РАТАН-600 создана активная база данных астрофизических (радио и других) каталогов, позволяющая работать в локальной сети Специальной астрофизической обсерватории, и выполнять следующие операции в диалоговом или командном режимах:

1) получение списка и характеристик каталогов;

2) работа с программами выборки из одного или нескольких каталогов по различным параметрам (программы типа select): экваториальным и галактическим координатам, плотностям потоков и спектральным индексам, частотам и именам включенных каталогов для объединенных каталогов типа MASTER.LIST;

3) выборка из одного или нескольких каталогов в соответствии с предлагаемым списком объектов (программы типа match).

База данных является открытой с точки зрения ее увеличения. В общей сложности она объединяет около 30 каталогов, в том числе все каталоги обзоров на РАТАН-600, каталог Диксона MASTER.LIST, каталоги обзоров Северного Неба в Грин Бэнк на частотах 4.85 и 1.4 МГц, каталог Teхасского обзора на частоте 0.365 МГц, каталог источников эксперимента IRAS и др.

В дальнейшем предполагается доступ по сети РЕЛКОМ с помощью e-mail в виде batch-заданий (из-за отсутствия возможности работы ON-LINE).


A lot of astrophysical information appears at present after observations of small areas and large sky region. This information includes coordinates of the observed objects and their physical characteristics in different wavelength ranges stored as source catalogs. In fact, every new large-scale observational experiment produces a new catalog of objects. Modern astrophysics operates with source parameters obtained in different spectral wavelength ranges with the goal of obtaining the most detailed understanding of the physical properties and the processes of radiation of these objects. An ability of using different catalogs makes this problem considerably simplier. Lately different attempts have been made for combining all astronomical catalogs in unified databases (Andernach, 1990, 1991; HEASARK, 1992; Helou et al., 1990; Good, 1991; ADS, 1993; Andernach, 1994).

However, access to such databases for various institutions (for example, the Special Astrophysical observatory) is limited for both technical and financial reasons. An important shortcoming of these databases is the incompleteness of the output information ralative to the information stored in the catalog or necessity of copying the whole catalog for the subsequent work with it.

We propose a new local variant of the SAO database CATS, allowing one to operate with catalogs stored in symbol (ASCII) codes.

The variant of the database of catalogs described below can be used as a component part of the observatory's data bank being developed in the frames of the ODA project (Kononov, 1994).

Organization of the database

The present active database of catalogs (ADBC) of version 1.0 is a unification of catalogs themselves, descriptions of catalogs and programs operated with them under OS UNIX (Fig.1) (Verkhodanov, Trushkin, 1994). The list of catalogs offers the addition of new catalogs in conformity with the following rules:

1) every new catalog of objects has to be contained in the UNIX directory having the same name as the catalog of objects;

2) the description of the catalog must also be in that directory;

3) the programs for local operations with the catalog of objects are also in the same directory;

4) brief characteristics and names of the programs and file with the description of the catalog are stored in the database of descriptions of catalogs cats_descr.

The following information is stored in the database of the catalog descriptions (file cats_descr): the name of the catalog, which is coincident with the name of the UNIX directory, the type of catalog (radio, optical, mixed, etc.), frequency/waverange, minimum fluxes or magnitudes, equatorial or/and galactic coordinates, the names of the local programs for the " select" and " match" functions, the name of the document file, the number of catalog objects, the size of the beam pattern or resolution, the reference factor for obtaining the commom scale of flux densities, bibliography reference. In case some parameter is absent the symbol '?' will be written in the corresponding column. This symbol is acceptible for the program operating with this database.

A user operates with the ADBC CATS from any directory of the operating system, because the programs of the general work with the catalogs are situated in the accessable and interrogatable directory of the OS UNIX.

The following possibilities of this database of catalogs exist:

1) receipt of a short description and the characteristics of each catalog, printing of the total list of catalogs for the required sky areas;

2) work with the programs of selecting objects from one or several catalogs by the main parameters: equatorial or galactic coordinates, flux densities, spectral indices, frequencies, names of the included catalogs, similar to MASTER.LIST, and for some catalogs by the types of objects;

3) selection of matches from one or several catalogs according to the proposed list of objects by coordinates matching within the error boxes.

The result of the object selection can be printed into the standard output in two formats:

1) the initial format of the current catalog;

2) the standard output format. This format is common for all the catalogs and is used further for unification and operation with spectra or other characteristics.

The result of the ADBC operation is a datafile sorted according to different object characteristics. It can be used for subsequent investigation of the spectra of radio sources in a flexible astronomical data proccessing system (Verkhodanov, 1992; Verkhodanov et al., 1992).

Realization of database

The database CATS is situated in the computer cold of the local computer net of the SAO RAS (Chernenkov, Shergin, 1993). This computer is accessible via the server saobs, located at the lower scientific site (LSS) of the SAO RAS in Nizhnij Arkhyz.

The catalogs are placed in the directory /u/users/cats. For operation with the " select" and " match" programs each catalog is divided into hour intervals. This considerably simplifies the operations with the data. The examination and search for objects of this catalog are executed by the standard UNIX commands more and grep.

In the operating system of the cold computer there is a special directory for visiting users. An interactive program catswork for operation with the catalogs is written in the job control language shell of the OS UNIX. The catalogs can be written in compressed or extracted forms. A description of the program is included in the standard system for the operation with manual documentation. It is called by the command ' man catswork' in the cold computer.

By the present time the following catalogs of the ADBC CATS have been made accessible in the radio wavelength range: RATAN-600 catalogs:

1. COLD - The catalog of the RATAN-600 radio sources (RS) obtained at the 7.6 cm wavelength in the "Cold" experiment (Parijskij et al., 1993).

2. COLDSP - The RATAN-600 spectral catalog of the "Cold" sources, compiled from the RATAN-600 observational data at different wavelengths and data from other catalogs (Bursov et al., 1993)

3. ZELEN - RS of the Zelenchuk survey at the RATAN-600 (Amirkhanyan et al., 1989).

4. ZENIT - RS of the Zenith survey of 1988 at the RATAN-600 (Mingaliev et al., 1988).

Other catalogs:

5. 6C - The Cambridge catalogs (I,II,III) at 0.151 GHz (Baldwin et al.,1985; Hales et al., 1988, 1990).

6. BONN - The Bonn catalog of RS in the Galaxy plain (Furst et al., 1990).

7. DRAO - The database of sources of the Pentington surveys at the DRAO interferometer (Higgs, 1989; DRAO 1991).

8. GB1 - The Green Bank catalog of RS at 4.85 GHz (Gregory and Condon, 1991).

9. GB2 - The Green Bank catalog of RS at 1.4 GHz (White and Becker, 1992).

10. HI - The data of HI measurements in galaxies.

11. MASTER.LIST - The unified Dixon's catalog of RS using all published data before 1977.

12. MIT_GB - The Mit Green Bank catalogs (I,II,III,IV) of RS at 5 GHz (Bennett et al., 1986; Lawrence et al., 1986; Langston et al., 1990; Griffiths et al., 1990, 1990a).

13. MOLONGLO - The catalog of RS at 0.843 GHz (Large et al., 1981).

14. PARKES - The unified Parks catalog of RS.

15. TEXAS - The Texas catalog of RS at 0.365 GHz (Douglas et al., 1980; Douglas, 1987). Preliminary version - unpublished.

16. VLAGN - The catalog of RS at 1.4 GHz in the Galaxy plain survey at the VLA (Zoonematkermani et al., 1990).

17. WSRT - The catalog of RS detected in the WSRT surveys (Willis et al., 1975).

Other wavelength ranges and mixed catalogs:

18. EINSTEIN - The X-Ray catalog of the Einstein satellite data (EINSTEIN, 1990).

19. ESO - The catalog of galaxies of the ESO survey (Lauberts, 1982).

20. IRAS - The catalog (modified) of IRAS sources (IRAS, 1985).

21. MCG - The morphological Vorontsov-Velyaminov's catalog of galaxies (Vorontsov-Velyaminov et al., 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968; Kogoshvili, 1975).

22. OHIO - Non-stellar sources on the POSS-prints (Ohio pales) available in SAO.

23. QSO - The Veron-Veron's catalog of QSOs and AGNs (Veron, Veron-Cetty, 1991).

24. SNE - The catalog of all supernovae, which have errupted before 1991 in other galaxies.

25. SNR - The Green's (1993) catalog of supernova remnants.

26. GALCEN - The catalog of all radio sources in the Galaxy plane (|l|<19^o, |b|<5^o); collected from the published surveys in Bonn at 1.4, 2.7, 4.85 GHz, Nobeyama at 10 GHz and Parkes at 5 GHz).

27. KR - The catalog of KR-sources (Kallas, Reich, 1980; Fich, 1986) in the Galaxy plain with all identifications in the radio and IR-wavelength ranges, made by Trushkin (1991).

The maximum capacity of database is currently about 70 Mb.


The created database is open for expanding. We propose to include into the database CATS Kuhr's catalog of bright radio sources (Kuhr et al., 1979). Now CATS unifies about 30 catalogs. It includes all catalogs of radio surveys at the RATAN-600, the unified catalog of radio sources MASTER.LIST, the catalogs of the Green Bank surveys at 4.85 and 1.4 GHz, the catalog of the TEXAS survey at 365 GHz, the catalog of sources of IRAS experiment, and others.

In future we propose creating access to the database by the RELCOM computer net with electronic mail as batch-tasks since we cannot operate at present in the ON-LINE mode. We also propose making a graphical output of the statistical and spectral information in the net shell X-window of the OS UNIX.

The authors are thankful to H.Andernach and V.S.Lebedev for presenting a great number of different catalogs.

O.V.Verkhodanov is thankful to the American Astronomical Society for the support in this work.

S.A.Trushkin is thankful to the RFFR for the financial support of this work (grant 93-02-17086).


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Sergei A.Trushkin
Sat Nov 2 13:27:45 MSK 1996

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