Nihal, Arabic for “quenching their thirst”.
In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN’s first bulletin of July 2016 included a table of the first two batches of names approved by the WGSN; which included Nihal for this star.

Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) in May 2016 to catalog and standardize proper names for stars for the international astronomical community. It operates under the auspices of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members — structured in Divisions, Commissions, and Working groups — are professional astronomers from all over the world, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, and active in professional research and education in astronomy. The IAU has 12381 Individual Members in 98 countries worldwide. Of those 74 are National Members. In addition, the IAU collaborates with various scientific organizations all over the world.

Beta Leporis (β Leporis, abbreviated Beta Lep, β Lep), also named Nihal, is the second brightest star in the constellation of Lepus.




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Heal Pix grid – Hierarchical Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelisation of a 2-sphere, is an algorithm for pixelisation of the 2-sphere, and the associated class of map projections created by Krzysztof M. Górski in 1997.

Górski’s professional experience includes Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech Senior Research Scientist, European Southern Observatory, Garching Germanu, associate Astronomer, Theoretical Astrophysics Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, Associate Professor. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD. Chief Scientist Raytheon STX …. developer of the virtual observatory.



healpx1 healpx2

Astronomical Data

Astrophysical Virtual Observatory
Computer Data Base

CDS Portal

The CDS Portal is a mashup application which aims at:
providing a single entry point to search and access the different CDS services
facilitate the workflow between the services

If you want to learn how to search for available data at CDS around a given object name or position, look at this page.
If you would like to use the output from one service as input to another, learn how to save data and how to reuse them.

SIMBAD Astronomical Database

SIMBAD on the Web is the WWW interface to the SIMBAD database. It offers the following functionalities:

Query by identifiers and around identifiers
Query by coordinates, specifying the radius and the equinox
Query by bibcode and partial bibcode
Sampling with a set of physical criteria
Query by lists of objects, coordinates or bibcodes
Display charts for list of objects resulting from coordinates query

SIMBAD on the Web has all the functionalities provided by XSimbad, after the addition of list queries in March 2001. XSimbad software is thus not maintained any more.

VizieR Service

Tools related to VizieR

Spectra, images in VizieR :
Search Spectra, images in VizieR
Photometry viewer :
Plot photometry (sed) including all VizieR
TAP VizieR :
query VizieR using ADQL (a SQL extension dedicated for astronomy)
CDS cross-match service :
fast cross-identification between any 2 tables, including VizieR catalogues, SIMBAD


Aladin is an interactive sky atlas allowing the user to visualize digitized astronomical images or full surveys, superimpose entries from astronomical catalogues or databases, and interactively access related data and information from the Simbad database, the VizieR service and other archives for all known astronomical objects in the field.

Aladin lite is a lightweight version of the Aladin tool, running in the browser and geared towards simple visualization of a sky region. Aladin lite is powered by the HTML5 canvas technology, currently supported by any modern browser. Aladin lite is easily embeddable on any web page and can also be controlled through a Javacript API. It is dedicated to replace the previous Aladin Java applet technology in the medium term.

Available data

Aladin Desktop & Aladin Lite use reprocessed data based on HiPS technology (Hierarchical Progressive Survey) with the capability to zoom and pan on any regions of the surveys. There are about 250+ HiPS surveys available for 50TB of pixels provided by several collaborative servers.

Aladin Desktop provides direct data access to most of the astronomical servers over the world (CDS, NED, ESO, CADC, MAST, HEASARC, NRAO, ROE, IMCCE, etc), and obviously, local user data.

CDS X Match

Visualize and manage your cross-match jobs

Tap VizieR

Gaia (DR1) tables are available query Gaia

The TAPVizieR service is available since sept-2012: it provides VizieR tables using the ADQL language and the TAP protocol.

This page lists some special points which characterize the current TAPVizieR implementation.

Sesame Name Resolver

The Sesame Service queries several databases from the name of an astronomical object (outside the Solar System bodies), and displays some fundamental parameters (type of object, J2000 position). The databases queried are Simbad, NED, and VizieR. (For more explanations, see the Documentation).

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