NED -- The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database

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(Latest Revision: 19 December 2013)

Introduction To NED

NED is a comprehensive database of multiwavelength data for extragalactic objects, providing a systematic, ongoing fusion of information integrated from hundreds of large sky surveys and tens of thousands of research publications. The contents and services span the entire observed spectrum from gamma rays through radio frequencies. As new observations are published, they are cross- identified or statistically associated with previous data and integrated into a unified database to simplify queries and retrieval. Seamless connectivity is also provided to data in NASA astrophysics mission archives (IRSA, HEASARC, MAST), to the astrophysics literature via ADS, and to other data centers around the world.

Objects can be queried By Name, Near Name or Near Position (cone search), and With Unprocessed Catalog Sources (to include very large catalog sources that are not yet cross-matched with NED objects). Galaxy samples can be constructed By Parameter constraints on Sky Area, Redshift, Flux Density (Magnitude), Object Types, and Survey Names, or by galaxy Classifications and Attributes, or By Reference Code.

References can be queried By Author and By Object Name. The LEVEL 5 Knowledgebase augments review articles in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology with object names and graphical content within the articles linked directly to relevant database queries.

The database content includes a master index of distinct astrophysical objects, multiwavelength cross-identification, associations, positions, redshifts, redshift-independent distances, photometry, diameters, images, spectra, and detailed notes. Derived quantities include Galactic extinction, velocity corrections, Hubble flow distances and scales, cosmological corrections, quick-look luminosities, and spectral energy distributions (SEDs).

NED's data and references are being continually updated in an internal production database, and revised versions are released on the public website every few months. New or improved science functionality is also released on a regular basis.

An Extragalactic Database

We emphasize that NED is an extragalactic database. Data and references for Galactic objects may be retrieved from SIMBAD (Set of Identifications, Measurements, and Bibliography for Astronomical Data), maintained by Centre de Données Astronomiques de Strasbourg, France. Similarly, solar system and planetary data (e.g. for Mars or for Halley's Comet) may be retrieved from NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) at JPL, and data for exoplanets are available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

Many of the individual catalogs integrated into NED are available from CDS (Centre données astronomiques de Strasbourg) at the Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, Strasbourg, France.

NED's features has more information on NED's many available features.

Acknowledging NED

If your research benefits from the use of the NED database, the following acknowledgement in your paper would be appreciated:

This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

When citing NED within a paper, the following statement may be inserted as a footnote:

The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Using NED

There are two ways to access NED:

World Wide Web

This is a standard WWW interface for searching objects, references, and data in NED. Return to the NED home page to use the WWW interface.

We have not optimized WWW NED for use with any particular browser. We use HTML 3 whenever possible, with a few extensions from HTML 4 when necessary. We have done this to insure that NED will be accessible by as many of its users as possible. If you experience difficulty using NED with your browser, please check your "Preferences" or "Options" settings for type, color, and font size; or try another browser if possible. If the problem persists, please send NED a note so that we can try to fix the problem.

NOTICE REGARDING AUTOMATED WEB ACCESS TO NED: Automated access to NED's Web (http) services via computer programs and scripts is supported. For further information, see "NED for a New Era" (Mazzarella et al. 2007). Specific sample query URLs, which can be accessed via utilities such as wget and curl or from programs written in Perl, Python or Java, can be found in "NED VO Services" (Mazzarella et al. 2008). However, NED's ability to support automated access involving large data volumes or high query rates is limited. Please adhere to the NED Guidelines for Automated Queries. Thank you for your cooperation.

Batch Mode

Batch mode is designed for searches that will return "large" numbers of objects, typically more than a few hundred. Using this mode simply involves submitting to NED via email a "batch form" containing a list of objects or positions, or other parameters (redshift, object type, or name prefix). After the request has been processed, NED will send you a notice by return e-mail, and you may pick up the resulting data files with the Tools--Batch Pickup link on NED's home page. Template batch forms are available through the following links.

Any of these templates may be used to submit batch jobs. The commented templates are longer, but contain detailed notes on filling out the batch forms.


This work is being carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, at the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Office of Space Science, Research and Program Management Office).

Digitized Sky Survey images in NED appear courtesy of AURA /STScI .

More information about other programs at IPAC may be found in the IPAC Home Page.

We also have made extensive use of the following Web sites and services:

  • CDS, the Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg, home to SIMBAD, VizieR, and Aladin
  • CFITSIO, a software package for manipulating FITS files, maintained by Dr. William D. Pence at NASA/GSFC/HEASARC
  • IRSA, the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, particularly the IRAS and 2MASS catalogs
  • SDSS, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey at Princeton and FermiLab
  • SkyView, a Virtual Observatory for displaying sky surveys, at NASA/GSFC/HEASARC
  • Also see the many sites listed on our Web Links Page

Return to NED's Home Page.