Gator provides "Low Limit" and "Up Limit" text fields to specify constraints on a specific query. The formatting rules used in setting these constraints depend on the datatype, as follows:


A character string must be enclosed in a pair of quote; e.g. in "lower limit" or "upper limit" text fields, type in one of the following:

  • ='A'
  • >='A'
  • <='A'

If the quotes are missing, a syntax error like this will be returned:

201: A syntax error has occurred. Use only single quotes when specifying strings. Double quotes may cause the query to fail.

Character data types follow the C convention in interpreting constraints. Check the column description of character datatypes to ensure that meaningful constraints are input.

Example: the MSX6C catalog includes a source name field, called "name", encoded on the basis of the galactic position of the source; e.g. G090.5476+07.9157 is at l=90.5476 and b=+07.9157 in galactic coordinates. Entering this constraint in the upper or lower limit field:


will retrieve all sources with the name G090.5476+07.9157.

But entering this constraint on the lower limit field:


will retrieve all sources with galactic longitudes of greater than 90.4576 degrees.

Numerical (Integer, Float, or Decimal)

Databases generally support a different range of datatypes than do the programming languages with which many users will be familiar. Use the following formatting rules in supplying constraints:

  • Treat int and smallint datatypes as integers
  • Treat float and smallfloat datatypes as floats.
  • Treat decimal datatypes as doubles.

Example constraints:

  • =2 (for integer)
  • >=2.543 (for float or decimal)


Gator supports the yyyy-mm-dd format for date datatypes for most catalogs. For example:

= 1996-03-20

If this format does not work for your query, please contact the IRSA HelpDesk.