Information About Star Catalogs

HR - Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed.

V/50 Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991). The Bright Star Catalogue (HR) is widely used as a source of basic astronomical and astrophysical data for stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (roughly stars visible to the naked eye). Originial catalogs has 9110 objects.
Starcat's HR data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)
ADC common name: HR

FK5 - Fifth Fundamental Catalogue

I/149A Fifth Fundamental Catalogue (FK5) Part I (Fricke+, 1988). FK5 Part II ( aka FK5 Extension) provides mean positions and proper motion for stars with an even distribution over the sky. Part II extends the orginial 1,535 objects by 3117, resulting in 4652 objects. The complete FK5 catalog has an average density of one star every 8.9 degrees. Great care was taken to ensure an even distribution over the sky and in both magnitude (to 9th) and spectral type.

Starcat's FK5 data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

In 2000, the FK6 catalog was released. This updated the FK5 with ICRF throught the Hipparcos data. This FK6 has 4150 objects.

HD - Henry Draper Catalogue

III/135A Henry Draper Catalogue and Extension (Cannon+ 1918-1924; ADC 1989).
The Henry Draper Catalogue with 225,300 entries was completed in 1924 and for many years has been the standard source for magnitudes and spectral types. Star contained in the catalog are of medium magnitude (down to 9th). HE extension published in 1949 add 86,933 more starts for a total of 359,083 HD numbers are widely used today.
Starcat's HD data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

SAO Star Catalog

I/131A SAO Star Catalog J2000 (SAO Staff 1966; USNO, ADC 1990). A catalogue of 258,997 stars, mostly down to magnitude 8.5 plus a few dimmer stars, published by the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory in 1966. - SAO's catalog page - ftp site
Starcat's SAO data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

HIP Star Catalog

The Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues are the primary products of the European Space Agency's astrometric mission, Hipparcos. The satellite, which operated for four years, returned high quality scientific data from November 1989 to March 1993.
Median astrometric standard errors (in position, parallax, and annual proper motion) are in the range 0.7-0.9 milliarcsec (mas) for stars brighter than 9 mag at the catalogue epoch (J1991.25). The catalogue is a materialisation of the ICRS reference system, coinciding with its principal axes at the level of +/-0.6mas, and with proper motions consistent with an inertial system at the level of +/-0.25mas/yr. The 118218 constituent stars provide a mean sky density of ~3 stars/deg^2^.
Catalog Bibcode: 1997A&A...323L..49P
Ref: Ref:
Starcat's HIP data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

PPM Star Catalog

The PPM Star Catalogue (Positions and Proper Motions Star Catalogue) is the successor of the SAO Catalogue. It contains precise positions and proper motions of 378,910 stars on the whole sky in the J2000/FK5 coordinate system. It is designed to represent as closely as possible the IAU (1976) coordinate system on the sky, as defined by the FK5 star catalogue. Thus, the PPM is an extension of the FK5 system to higher star densities and fainter magnitudes
Catalog Bibcode: 1997A&A...323L..49P
Starcat's PPM data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

FS or UKIRT Faint Standards, Revised Ed.

This catalog is available in html format from the UKIRT website.
The catalog is not in application-readable format.
page last updated 2000/02/11, Tim Hawarden
other ref:
Starcat's FS data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)


SA star, also known as BSD (prefered) (Bergedorfer obs., Spektral Durchmusterung)= BSp = (Grn) = (SA)
Starcat's SA data comes from IRTF_REF_STAR.txt (produced using SIMBAD queries)

GSC - Guide Star Catalog version 1.2

The HST Guide Star Catalog (GSC), which has been constructed to support the operational need of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for off-axis guide stars, contains nearly 19 million objects brighter than sixteenth magnitude, of which more than 15 million are classified as stars.

2MASS - The Two Micron All Sky Survey at IPAC

A sky survey using a 3 channel camera ( 256x256 HgCeTe detector and J, H and K) was conducted duirng 1997 to 2001. This result data was used to procedure the All-Sky Data release in 2003. The catalog contains 470,992,970 Point sources and 1,647,599 Extended sources. The IRTF subset contains 5,581,279 objects.
Web site:

The IRTF 2mass.catalog.inx/ra narrows the objects to:


gnuplot.html - notes on making the distribution and magnitude maps.