Node: Stars data file, Next: , Up: Data file formats

B.1 Stars data file

This is a text file usually called stars.dat. Four consecutive lines belong together and refer to one particular star. There is no header.

Line 1
A row with seven fields separated by whitespace:
  1. Henry Draper Catalogue number (`0' if unknown),
  2. BSC catalogue number (`0' if unknown),
  3. rectascension in hours,
  4. declination in degrees,
  5. visual brightness in magnitudes,
  6. B-V brightness in magnitudes (`99.0' if unknown), and
  7. Flamsteed number (`0' if unknown).

Line 2
The label (astronomical name) for the star, as a LaTeX-ready string, e.g. “$\alpha$”, “$\phi^{2}$”, or simply “$23$”. May be the empty string.
Line 3
The astronomical abbreviation of the constellation. It must be all uppercase.
Line 4
The spectral class. It must start with the spectral class letter, followed by the fraction digit, followed by the luminosity class as a Roman number, e.g. “F5III”. Anything may follow as in “K2-IIICa-1”, however the mandatory parts must not contain any whitespace.


     358 15 0.139805 29.0906 2.06 -0.11 21
     11636 553 1.91067 20.8081 2.64 0.13 6
     886 39 0.220611 15.1836 2.83 -0.23 88

PP3's star data origin

It's the Bright Stars Catalogue (BSC) as distributed with the program Cartes du Ciel. It contains almost 10,000 stars. I corrected minor mistakes and let all double stars collapse, i.e. their visual brightnesses were summed up and the respective minor partner was removed from the file.