Formatting Coordinate Strings

Getting a string representation of a coordinate is most powerfully approached by treating the components (e.g., RA and Dec) separately.


To get the string representation of a coordinate:

>>> from astropy.coordinates import ICRS
>>> from astropy import units as u
>>> c = ICRS(187.70592*, 12.39112*
>>> str(c.ra) + ' ' + str(c.dec)
'187d42m21.312s 12d23m28.032s'

To get better control over the formatting, you can use the angles’ to_string() method (see Working with Angles for more). For example:

>>> rahmsstr = c.ra.to_string(u.hour)
>>> str(rahmsstr)
>>> decdmsstr = c.dec.to_string(, alwayssign=True)
>>> str(decdmsstr)
>>> rahmsstr + ' ' + decdmsstr
u'12h30m49.4208s +12d23m28.032s'

You can also use Python’s format string method to create more complex string expressions, such as IAU-style coordinates or even full sentences:

>>> 'SDSS J{0}{1}'.format(c.ra.to_string(unit=u.hourangle, sep='', precision=2, pad=True), c.dec.to_string(sep='', precision=2, alwayssign=True, pad=True))
'SDSS J123049.42+122328.03'
>>> 'The galaxy M87, at an RA of {0.ra.hour:.2f} hours and Dec of {0.dec.deg:.1f} degrees, has an impressive jet.'.format(c)
'The galaxy M87, at an RA of 12.51 hours and Dec of 12.4 degrees, has an impressive jet.'