About CDS

A data center at the hub of the international cooperation

Strasbourg astronomical Data Centre (CDS) is dedicated to the collection and worldwide distribution of astronomical data and related information.

The CDS hosts the SIMBAD astronomical database, the reference database for the identification of astronomical objects; VizieR, the catalogue service for the CDS reference collection of astronomical catalogues and tables published in academic journals; and the Aladin interactive software sky atlas for access, visualization and analysis of astronomical images, surveys, catalogues, databases and related data.

The CDS mission is to:

Here is the diagram of the CDS activities:

Maintenance, Innovation and Sustainability

Alongside data curation and service maintenance responsibilities, the CDS undertakes R&D activities that are fundamental to ensure the long term sustainability in a domain in which technology evolves very quickly. R&D areas include informatics, big data, and development of the astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO). CDS is a major actor in the VO with leading roles in European VO projects, the French Virtual Observatory and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA).


The CDS cooperates with the French Space Agency CNES , European Space Agency ESA , European Southern Observatory ESO , NASA , the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (with a long term collaboration with the Astrophysics Data System ADS and the NASA Extragalactic Database NED ), astronomical academic journals, and with other data and service providers around the world such as the Inter-University Centre of Astronomy and Astrophysics ( IUCAA ), the National Observatory of China ( NAOC ), the National Observatory of Japan ( NAOJ ), and the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences ( INASAN ). CDS contributes to the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre in collaboration with the High-Energy team of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory.

CDS is a member of the World Data System of the International Council for Science ICSU.


The CDS was created in 1972 as the Stellar Data Centre and changed its name to Strasbourg astronomical Data Centre in 1983. The CDS has been a pioneer in the dissemination of added-value digital scientific data. Major milestones include the revolution of web technologies in the 1990's, and the development of the international Virtual Observatory starting in ~2000.


The authorities of the CDS are the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS Terre & Univers) and the Université de Strasbourg.

The CDS is labelled "Research Infrastructure" in the French National Strategy on Research Infrastructures published by the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche in 2021.

The CDS is a "Platform" of the University of Strasbourg labelled by CoRTecS.

The CDS is hosted in the Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory.