STARCAT is now becoming
obsolete. Use it only to access astronomical catalogues or
request special file types.
The WDB interface should
now be used for accessing the ESO
STARCAT is a User Interface to a set of services available to
astronomers and archival researchers. These services can be grouped in
two main classes:
You can start starcat by rlogin
-l starcat ac6.hq.eso.org (no password required).
To retrieve off-line data you have to
register as an archive user.
New features with STARCAT version 5.21 (Feb 96) include:
A complete list of new features can be found in the
STARCAT v5.21 release notes.
- Available for both SunOS and Solaris
- Inter-screen navigation.
- Data request submission tool (for both ESO and HST
- New catalogues.
- A connection to the SIMBAD astronomical name server at
the CDS in
CATALOGUES IN STARCAT
The list of astronomical
catalogues within STARCAT currently contains at around 65 entries.
You can take a look at the list of
Catalogues or New
Preview data. The catalogues are arranged in two main categories:
Mission Logs and Objects and
We also keep a Catalogue of Catalogues
wich contains all catalogues available in Starcat and in the Centre de
Donnees Stellaires in Strasbourg.
Some important catalogues within STARCAT include:
Most of these catalogues have been collected from CDS, ASTRONET, STARLINK,
NSSDC and STScI.
- The HST Catalogue:
- The HST catalogue is so large that many different views or screens of the
contents are necessary. A series of menus provides access to these
- The CFHT Catalogue:
- The current CFHT catalogue is a very preliminary version. There are
many screens, each of which provide a look a different parts of the
- The ESO Observation catalogue and schedule
- Both the schedule of observations on ESO telescopes at The La Silla
Observatory as well as the catalogue of observations performed
with ESO's New Technology Telescope (NTT/EMMI) are available
- Astronomical Data Catalogues:
- important observation logs (IUE, EXOSAT as space--borne,
and UKS, ESO, PALOMAR sky surveys as ground--based);
- object oriented
catalogues (Bright Stars, ESO-LV, Veron93, white dwarfs, variable
- astrometric catalogues (CADARS, PPM, FK5).
- The GSC (Guide Star Catalogue)
containing more than 25 million entries is also available.
- General Information Catalogues:
- Included are an up to date list of all preprints received in the
ESO library; a list of all astronomical observatories worldwide
providing postal and e-mail addresses; a list of more than 5000
scientists worldwide; a list of the most common (official)
abbreviations used in astronomy and their meaning.
The second service provided by STARCAT is access to archives of data
from different sources. These archives are typically stored off-line on
optical disk. Accessible archives include:
The retrieval facility will be described in this manual. Some details on
the practical dearchiving rules have been regularly described in the
lastest issues of the ST-ECF Newsletter.
THE HST INTERFACE
A description of the HST interface
can be found in a separate document.
COMMANDS AVAILABLE AT START UP
The list of top-level commands
within STARCAT is available.
The User Interface toolkit on which STARCAT is based is Proteus,
another ST-ECF/CADC s/w product which is fully described in a separate
document (see below). Proteus in turn uses the TermWindows library, a
product of the ESO-IPG group, it allows STARCAT to be run on virtually
any existing terminal that can connect to the ESO and CADC computers.
Proteus and TermWindows provide STARCAT with the following facilities:
- dialogue interaction or Prompt mode: programs are run
on a ``question and answer'' basis;
- menu mode
the user indicates a choosen item either by moving a highlight or
underline through the items with the arrow keys or the spacebar,
or by simply typing the associated key code displayed
with each item (without pressing the return key);
- screen mode the user can enter the catalogue search
constraints directly in the right field in the screen. This is
much easier to use (intuitive) and reduces the number of key
- type -- ahead: several commands and subcommands can be
given in one string, using the type-ahead feature when in prompt
- command abbreviation:
a command specifies the required program function; the user
only needs to type enough first
characters to distinguish the command from others;
- line editing: characters on the input line may be
deleted, added etc. Press CTRL G or CTRL K to have an
overview of all editing capabilities;
- error reporting if invalid data are entered, or the
program encounters any error, an explanatory message is displayed,
and the last prompt is repeated;
- file input the sequence of commands and replies to prompts
that the user would normally type at the keyboard, may also be
read from a file (readfile command). Also, the log file --
automatically generated at each STARCAT run to keep a trace of all
activities and error messages -- can be re-executed and used as
an input to STARCAT thanks to the readfile command.