How to query SIMBAD ?

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Last modification: January , 2016

1  Different access protocols

The basic access to Simbad are from URL. Here are some details:

2  Different forms for specific queries

Basically, everything that Simbad does today will be possible to do with Simbad4. But not necessarily in the same way. So, a feature not mentionned below will more or less be the same as in Simbad3.

3  To search by astronomical object

The Web page Query by identifier allows to query individual objects designated by any acronym typed in the 'identifier:' field.

It is also possible to query around the object, by specifying a search radius. Identifiers can also be queries using wildcard. A whole catalog can be returned by choosing the corresponding option and typing only the catalog name.

Finaly, a list of identifiers can be submitted. The result can be either in list format or provide the full object display for each object in the list.

4  To search objects near one particular object

Use the Query by identifier Web page and choose the option 'around this object' in the option list. You may also wish to modify the default radius for this search.

The result is a list of objects, as in a search by coordinates.

5  To search by coordinates

The Web page Query by coordinates allows to find all objects in a circle by defining the coordinates of the center – not forgetting to specify the frame to use – and a radius.

A second form on this page allow to submit a file containing coordinates.

6  To search for references

The Query by references web page allows queries from bibcodes, part of bibcodes or several criteria like journals, year range, authors and title words. Only references from SIMBAD can be retrieved by this way. For more complete bibliographic searches, please visit ADS.

With a complete bibcode, you can also get the list of astronomical objects contained in the paper, and referenced in SIMBAD (check the box 'display objects in the reference') after the bibcode field.

A secondary page allows you to retrieve an author from a wildcard expression (i.e. JAS*) or phonetically.

7  To search by criteria

The Query by criteria Web page has a text field allowing to send a query made of constraints on a large number of data fields contained in Simbad.

Such queries can be rather complex, so another field allows to submit a file containing a search expression.

The whole list of available criteria is displayed at the bottom of the web page.

8  To search from lists

Use the Script submission Web page. A textarea window allows you to test formats and script structure, and to send short scripts. The other part of this form allows you to send a file containing a script and get the result, either in the web page (an ASCII output, with no HTML tags), or in a file.

The Help page accessible from this web page has all the details about the script commands, the output format definition and the fields to use for VOTable output.

9  Output control

A dedicated web page gives control over the output format : Output Options. It defines many parameters for both full object display and list display.

This page opens always in a separate web page. It is recommended to keep it on the desktop.

10  Format definition

Formats are currently only available in the script mode and are described on its Help page.

11  Help

Every web page has three ways to provide help:

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