Databases (NSDC) of the Natural Planetary Satellites.

Instructions for use

NSDC: Database of astrometric observations of Natural Planetary Satellites
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Access to the database of observations.

In order to enter the database of the observations of the natural planetary satellites, please select the topic "observations" in the menu of the "NSDC" home page or in the top of each page. Then, it is possible to choose either the database of raw published data "NSDF" or the standard dtat "NSDB". In the first case, you will have to select the group of satellites and the nature of the observations: "astrometric positions" or "phenomena". These observations have their characteristics described in a guide.

In the second case, if you wish to get data under a standard form gathering all data, click on the column at right. At the present time, only a few observations are included as standard dtat, mainly the for the galilean satellites.

The link to "Parameters" put at the top of all pages provides many useful data as:
- the list of the satellites with orbital and physical parameters
- the masses of the satellites according to several sources
- the parameters of the rotation and of the coordinates of the poles.
Before selecting the group of satellites, it is possible to have a look to the list of all satellites in the link "Nomenclature".

After the choice of the group of satellites, you will get the list of all the "entries" of observations.

Then it is possible to choose selected observations.

This page is made of three frames (the header, the list of the entries and the bottom. The scrolling is made independently for the three frames. Each line of the list corresponds to an "entry" and to two files the names of which having a specific meaning as follows:

  • The first character is the first letter in the name of the planet (m, j, s, u, n).
  • The second character denotes the satellite group: m - major satellites, g - Galilean satellites, i - inner satellites, o - outer satellites.
Then, in the identifier, follows the ordinal number of the set (four characters). The ordinal numbers may be limited within certain ranges for some satellite subgroups. Each set in the database is provided with two files: file of explanations (Content) and file of data (Data).
The identifier of set appears in the identifiers of file of data and file of explanations for this set as a name of file.

File of explications (Content) *.html. This is a text file accessible for reading and copying by user. It has HTML extension. Explanations include different information which is common for all sets of data. The format of file of data is described here too. File of explanations is composed according to the specific rules mentioned above. In the file of explanations, source of data or bibliographic reference is indicated. The reference has a hyperlink which may be used to call the corresponding reference from the bibliographic database. From there, in its turn, it is possible to go to the corresponding reference at the ADS Abstract Service where the electronic version of the publication is accessible.

File of data (Data) *.txt. It is also a text file containing the results of the observations in the format described in the file of explanations. According to the principle adopted in our database, all observational data are entered into the database in that content and form in which they were received or published. No reductions or transformations are made. Only the order in which data follow may be changed. Usually one single line of file corresponds to one observation made in the given date. All numerical values in the line are separated by one or more spacings. As a rule, lines contain only numerical values. Character values given in the data sources are replaced by numerical ones. In some cases, a special symbol or a word may appear instead of numerical value, which is specified in the file of explications.
The file of explications as well as the file of data may be copied by the user using any Web browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.) or using tools offered by OS Windows. These are the only data accessible to the user. Pour certains types d'observations (par exemple les phénomènes mutuels) on trouvera deux fichiers "Data", l'un correspondant à des données numériques réduites et l'autre aux données photométriques brutes permettant à l'utilisateur de refaire lui-même la réduction.


Les données standard de la base NSDB (Standard Data)

Le but de cette partie de la base de données est de fournir des données standard sur lesquelles un travail d'homogénéisation a été effectué. Toutes les données correspondant ,à un satellite ou à un groupe de satellites sont regroupées et directement utilisables contrairement aux données brutes originales de la base NSDF qui doivent être homogénéisées avant utilisation.

NSDC: Bibliographic database.


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Access to the bibliographic database.

To use the bibliographic database on the natural planetary satellites, it is necessary to select the link "Bibliography" present at the top of all the pages. A page will appear, where you can fill in a form to set conditions for the search of necessary bibliographic references. First of all, you should select one of two topics:
  • Observations-Theories-Ephemerides (and reviews)
  • Planetology (physics of satellites)
After that, enter the interval of years in which the publication you are looking for could be published. Then search conditions (search logic) should be set. All the search conditions, which you would set for different search fields, will be joined by logical AND operator, i.e. only those bibliographic references will be displayed which satisfy all the conditions set.

Any bibliographic reference has the following fields (please, don't mix up these reference fields hereafter called "fields" with the search fields where you will enter the data and which are hereafter denoted as "search fields" or "text fields"):
  • Date of publication
  • Authors
  • Title
  • Journal or the book title
  • Publisher
  • Keywords
  • Abstract
The following conditions may be set for any of these fields: "the field must have all the given words", "it must have fragments of words" or "it must have a series of words". The interval of years of publication and at least one condition for one of other fields should be given. When you selected a field name, enter one or more words in a search field (note that the enter of data into the first search field marked with a red asterisk is obligatory). If there are several words in a search field, they may be joined by one of the following logical operations:
  • the field must contain at least one of the entered words (OR)
  • the field must contain all the entered words (AND)
  • the field must not contain the entered words (NOT)
  • the field must contain the entered text fragment (exact phrase)
When making a search, it is possible to enter only fragments of words.

To make enter of keywords easier, we offer you to open one of three additional windows where the keywords may be selected from a list and added to certain search fields. These windows contain:

  • keywords for object selection
  • keywords for subject selection
  • main journals list
Besides search conditions, user may define the data for output. For this, it is necessary to switch on corresponding checkboxes.

The references will be displayed by pages, each containing 50 references. The number of references in a page (by default, 50) may be modified on the main page.

The first two search fields follow after the text field where the years of publication must be entered. Then, after the list of data for output and the text field for the number of references, follow additional search fields.

The search is started by clicking the Search button.
The Reset button is used to reset all the input fields.
Having a list of bibliographic references, user may copy them using corresponding Windows tools.
Each displayed bibliographic reference is accompanied by its bibliographic code composed using the standards of the ADS Abstract Service. This code has a link to the corresponding reference at the ADS Abstract Service (if it is available there). For some publications, the ADS Abstract Service provides electronic versions.

NSDC: Parameters - Data on the Natural planetary satellites
and their motion.


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To have access to this data base, please click on "Parameters" put at the top of all the pages. The provided data are described below.

  • Guide of the Natural planetary satellites providing:
  • the list of the satellites (and rings if available) for each planet
  • orbital parameters
  • size and magnitude
  • maximum apparent distance to the planet
  • The masses of the satellites according to several sources
  • The parameters for rotation and coordinates of the poles according to the work of the working group "Cartographic coordinates of the bodies of the solar system"
  • The sources-codes of the available dynamical models of motion for ephemerides purpose.
  • The nomenclature of the satellites is provided through the link "Nomenclature" at the top of the page.