Help for the Coordinate ConverterSingle Targets
Access from Programs
Coordinate Systems Acknowledgments
The coordinate converters page provides two simple coordinate conversion utilities: a single target form for individual names/coordinates and a list converter for files that may contain many positions.
When you enter coordinates these are assumed to be in the coordinate system specified in the Input Coordinate Type box. This box is ignored when a target name is specified.
A target name is converted to coordinates using the NED and SIMBAD name resolver services. The HEASARC keeps a local cache of previously requested names to speed up requests. If your target name is successfully resolved you will get a message indicating the resolver used. When the target name was found in the local cache that will be noted.
You can control the order in which the caches are searched using the name resolver selection. To speed up requests to the name resolvers, the HEASARC keeps a cache of previous requests which it updates periodically. To ensure that the name resolvers are actually queried, uncheck the local caches option. The query may take a second or two longer.
If you would like to see data in a special coordinate system select the desired epoch of the equinox in the Special Equinox box. Data will then be displayed in both Besselian and Julian coordinates for this equinox.
If you want to convert coordinates from a non-standard equinox, select the Special Equinox and also specify Special Equinox as your Input Coordinate Type selection.
Each line of your input file should be single target name or coordinate string or a comment. The input file must be plain text. The file may be as long as you like. Blank lines and lines beginning with # are treated as comments and just copied to the output. You can use them to help label the results. Any of the coordinate formats supported in the Web forms may be used. Different lines may use different formats, but all coordinate strings are assumed to be in the specified input coordinate system.
There are several output options. You can choose sexagesimal or decimal output formats. The former are the default for equatorial coordinates and that later are used for ecliptic and galactic systems. You can choose to display the data in HTML or text formats. By default the program displays the inputs, which resolver was used for names, and any error messages, but you may select to just show the output coordinates. In the later case you'll get a blank line if the program couldn't do the conversion. If you are planning on plugging the converted coordinates into some other document, then using the text format with only the output coordinates displayed may be convenient.
If you have a lot of names in your list, then suppressing the local name caches may dramatically slow your request and will rarely alter the results.
The lists converter gives the separations between the first position found and all subsequent positions.
This program uses the FK4/FK5-compatible precession models rather than the latest (IAU 2000 and IAU 2006) models. As a consequence, accuracy falls off slightly for epochs remote from 2000. Errors are less than 0.1 arcsecond within 40 years and less than 1 arcsecond within 360 years of 2000.
Errors in the resolution of names to coordinates will vary considerably -- especially for extended objects where the meaning of a precise position may be unclear.Feedback form and select "Other Web Tools" from the pull-down menu.
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