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Right Ascension

Right Ascensions are tabulated in decimal degrees in the archive. This may be used with the column label RA, which conforms to the archive convention [5]. While this is a convenient machine-readable form, it is not very user-friendly, as most astronomical catalogs use sexagesimal time units.

Fortunately, the MIDAS table commands will accept sexagesimal input (see the on-line HELP for CREATE/COLUMN and NAME/COLUMN), in almost any human-readable form. By using the R11.6 format specification for the Right Ascension columns in the *.fmt file, existing ASCII tables can easily be converted to MIDAS table format. This stores the column as an angle in degrees, though it is displayed as hours, minutes, and seconds by the READ/TABLE command.

CAUTION: your ASCII file must have the .dat extension, or it will not be read correctly!

Petra Nass