1. I can't find the catalogue I'm interested in
See the explanations on How to select catalogues...
You may also browse through catalogues, looking at the
list of the VizieR most popular catalogues,
or at the list of recently entered catalogues.
Many catalogues give now an access to
spectra or time series
2. I get the error message ****Can't interpret center
VizieR understands many ways of specifying the target's equatorial
coordinates: sexagesimal hours (RA part) and sexagesimal degrees
(Declination part), or decimal degrees in both parts. In order
to avoid any ambiguity in the interpretation, the requirements are that:
More details about the various ways to specify the target are described in
the Constraint Specifications.
- if you enter RA in decimal degrees, be sure it contains
a decimal point:
15 +60 is interpreted as
15h +60°, while
15.+60 is interpreted as
15°+60°, i.e. 01h +60°
- if you enter RA in sexagesimal hours, be sure the sign
of the declination is present
3. Not all columns of the catalogue are displayed in the
VizieR Search Page
By default, all existing columns are not presented in the
VizieR Search Page; the Adapt Form frame,
at the bottom of the page, proposes to display all columns,
the default set, or a customized set made of the checked columns only.
4. I have a list of positions, and would like to query several catalogues
around these positions
You can submit a file containing your list of targets to VizieR:
see the explanations on
How to query from a LIST saved in a file.
This option is proposed in the Adapt Form frame.
5. I would like to select sources in a catalogue, and find nearby sources
in another catalogue
A general cross-correlation by position is in preparation, but it is
currently possible to use the result of a query (in tab-separated-values)
as the input for another query – see
Using a TSV-file as Input file
6. I would like to get the results as a spreadsheet table
Choose the Tab-Separated-Values as the Output layout in
the Query Setup part of the pages.
There is a trick to set your limit: specify it in the
http location with the -out.max parameter, for instance
-out.max=123456. Retrieving this
large sample could be very slow – especially if you ask to sort the
results – just be prepared to wait when asking very large bunches...
And also better choose the ascii table output format
(or output for files like VOTable or FITS),
the HTML tabular formatting can be very slow for large tables!
7. I really need to set my own value on the limit of retrieved results
8. I would like to install a link to some vizier result from my page
VizieR follows the ASU conventions, and it's
(relatively) easy to compose a URL which executes a query on vizier
and presents the result in a web page: the HTTP GET or POST method
can be used (are equivalent); see the
ASU summary to get some details about
how to write a working URL.
9. I wanted a copy of a complete catalog, but I got an error like
****Can't allocate space for object 'temp worktable' in database 'tempdb'
Sorry, but VizieR was developed as as query tool, and can't easily
generate a huge output which could anyway not be managed by your
browser (there is currently a maximum limit of 9999 retrieved records).
To get a copy of complete catalogues and tables,
it's recommended to use the
CDS FTP facility,
which can even generate on the fly files in FITS format
(for details, see the FTP Facilities at CDS)
10. I asked to sort the result on one column, but the output doesn't look
When no constraint is provided (i.e. neither a target position
nor any other qualification was specified), VizieR does not
take the sort request into account, because it can eat up a lot
of resources. It is possible to force the sorting
by specifying any qualification (e.g. 0 .. 24 in the RA box).
11. I need all my positions in a non-standard equinox
Only a few default equinoxes are effectively visible in the
VizieR Search Page, and the default equinox depends on the
But VizieR accepts parameters using the ASU conventions,
where the equinox is defined by -c.eq=equinox_value.
Therefore inserting the argument -c.eq=1997.25
in the initial VizieR call
will use 1997.25 as the default equinox for VizieR pages.
12. How exactly are computed the relative positions
_r _x _y?
The arc projection is used, i.e. the distances are computed
as great circle distances. See the more detailed formulae
on this computation.
13. I would like to have my target name listed in a column of the output
This possibility was added in April 2001, see details in
How to Query VizieR from a LIST saved in a file
14. VizieR mirrors
The list of the currently existing VizieR installations may
be found in the VizieR home page, or in the
section Other Installations of VizieR at the
bottom of the VizieR Service page.
15. Why can a catalog be located in the Astronomer's Bazaar, and is not
found in VizieR?
The Astronomer's Bazaar gives access to
all catalogues stored at CDS.home,
which can be copied via
The catalogues with a standardized documentation
are automatically inserted into the VizieR system.
Some not-yet-standardized catalogues can be ``standardized''
– drop us a mail at !
16. How to cite the usage of VizieR
The prefered reference for the usage of VizieR is the following paper:
Ochsenbein F., Bauer P., Marcout J., 2000,
A&AS 143, 221