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The spectacular Python package astropy allows the user to search for a celestial object using astropy.coordinates, querying through CDS. The docs talk about how to use the package, but I can't see anywhere a list of the objects I could search for, even on the CDS website. Is there anywhere I could find such a list?

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The astropy.coordinates packages has the SkyCoord.from_name() convenience method (docs link) uses the Sesame name resolver at CDS to search Simbad, the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database NED and VizieR database of astronomical catalogs. Since these encompass basically every known object in astronomy, there is no "list"; simply put something in and it's very likely to be in there. If it doesn't work initially, try putting it into the Simbad identifier search directly and it will likely give you hints if you are searching for something in a specific catalog but haven't quite got the catalog prefix right)

(There is a Dictionary of Nomenclature on Simbad which I've never needed to use, but you can put in parts of an identifier or put in terms you want to see entries for (if you change the 'Choose one of the Info possibilities:' to Related to words)

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  • $\begingroup$ from astropy.coordinates import SkyCoord, EarthLocation betelgeuse = SkyCoord.from_name(’Betelgeuse’) print(betelgeuse) Have there been any major changes to the databases? My code for Betelgeuse didn't work (I was trying to combine database searching and Jupyter Notebook work). $\endgroup$
    – dtn
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ Working here for me on astropy 5.3.2: print(betelgeuse) ; <SkyCoord (ICRS): (ra, dec) in deg (88.79293899, 7.40706399)> Maybe it was a temporary issue in the name resolver ? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:51

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