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I want to retrieve coordinates, photos, and information (size, atmosphere composition, distance from Earth, etc.) about every known object in the universe. Ideally, the information is available via an Application Programming Interface (API) for easy retrieval via a computer program.

What is the best free source of this information? Thank you for your help.

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    $\begingroup$ At first I wanted to just dismiss your question as ridiculous but it's not. There are certainly a lot of different databases out there, I wonder if there is just one interface that can access all of them and perhaps even remove duplicate entries. I'll bet a SpaceCoin that no such thing exists, but I haven't a clue really. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 4 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ What about Aladin? $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Mar 4 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ There is no single database for every object we know giving you every property. You will have to make selections of your own and then access the individual databases. Sorry. $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape Mar 4 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ Wolfram seems to have a large bunch of stuff, eg reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/StarData.html?view=all $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Mar 4 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ Start with Simbad simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad Here's the result of a search that will at least get you started down the right path simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/… The Identifiers may or may not contain additional object information $\endgroup$ – L d Bonnie Mar 4 at 19:38
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Here's an API: Documentation for Catalog/Image webservices provided by CASG/MAST.

You can also find more search resources in Github, e.g. HackTheUniverse.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 I always try to add a little more information as text. If/when the link breaks or rots it in the future, will be easier to figure out where it went. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 5 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ That's basically just a subset of star catalogs and HST observations. The SIMBAD API would be much better: simbad.u-strasbg.fr/Pages/guide/sim-url.htx $\endgroup$ – Peter Erwin Mar 5 at 11:05

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