Fourth Catalog of Interferometric Measurements of Binary Stars
(catalog files are updated whenever new data are added to the database; statistics were last updated 18 July 2016)
The following description is adapted from a paper by Hartkopf et al. (2001, AJ, 122, 3480.)
The Fourth Catalog of Interferometric Measurements of Binary Stars includes all published measures of binary and multiple star systems obtained by high-resolution techniques (speckle interferometry, photoelectric occultation timings, etc.), as well as negative examinations for duplicity. A brief summary and statistical analysis of the contents of the catalog follow.
The Fourth Catalog of Interferometric Measurements of Binary Stars began in 1982 as an internal database at the Georgia State University Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), tabulating binary star observations made using the technique of speckle interferometry by that group's speckle camera. The Speckle Catalog soon grew to encompass other published speckle efforts, then all published astrometric and photometric data for binary stars (and single stars observed in duplicity surveys) obtained by other high angular resolution techniques (lunar occultations, adaptive optics, eyepiece interferometry, Hipparcos, etc.) as well. This extended the catalog's baseline of observations back by nearly a century, to the efforts of Schwarzschild & Villiger (1896). Results of surveys based on various infrared speckle or imaging techniques were later added, as well, even though some of these don't really qualify as "high resolution".
Two printed editions of the catalog were published in the 1980's (McAlister & Hartkopf 1984, 1988), and web versions have been available since the early 1990's (Hartkopf et al. 2001a, 2001b). After the speckle efforts at CHARA were suspended in the late 1990's (in order to devote more resources to their long-baseline interferometry project) one of the authors (WIH) transferred the catalog (still nicknamed the Speckle Catalog in honor of its origins) to the U.S. Naval Observatory, whose own speckle efforts had begun earlier in the decade.
The table below summarizes the contents of the catalog as of 18 July 2016. In addition to the astrometric totals presented here, the catalog includes 72,570 observations of photometric data only. In total astrometric observations, the Fourth Speckle Catalog is about 40 times the size of the First Catalog, 17 times the size of the Second, and well over twice the size of the 2001.0 Third Catalog. Figures 1 - 3 illustrate the distribution of catalog data with time, separation, and declination, respectively.
Fourth Interferometric Catalogue Statistics (as of 18 July 2016) Number of resolved stars: 62,976 Number of never-resolved stars: 25,450 Total number of stars: 88,426 Median separation 0".89 Breakdown of data by method: resolved unresolved total Tycho 40.853 1,001 41,854 Hipparcos 13,880 16,800 30,680 USNO Speckle 22,294 4,759 27,053 CHARA Speckle 18,525 6,479 25,004 Other speckle, AO, etc 27,926 11,091 39,017 Eyepiece interferometry 3,085 700 3,785 Occultation 1,816 770 2,586 Multi-aperture interferometers 3,099 1,050 4,149 Hubble 1,709 3,568 5,277 Other techniques 17,392 31,640 49,032 ------------------------------------------------------------- TOTAL 150,579 77,858 228,437 Of the resolved total, 2,461 are vector separations (from either occultations or one-dimensional IR speckle).
The catalog is divided into 24 one-hour right ascension bands, as follows:
Entries for each system are comprised of two parts: an identification line containing designations from various catalogs, followed by individual measures sorted in order of observation date (see the format file). Major changes with this version include coordinates to 0.01s in RA and 0".1 in DEC, improvements in the formatting of filter information to allow longer wavelengths, and the addition of technique codes. The ID line format was changed slightly in July 2007 to allow additional space for long names (e.g., 2MASS designations). Each observation includes a reference code linked to a reference file. Similarly, systems having notes are flagged with links to a notes file. An additional change in July 2007 provided links to the Sixth Orbit Catalog for pairs with published visual or astrometric orbits. In October 2007 we completed a merger of the notes files for the WDS with those of the Interferometric and Orbit catalogs. As a result, the notes file will include systems in addition to those in this catalog. Also, because the notes file is much larger, it has been divided into 24 smaller files for faster linking to the individual catalog measurements files.
Your comments regarding either style or substance are welcome. Please report any errors you run across in the catalog to the authors.
- Anderson, J.A. 1920, ApJ 51, 263
- Hartkopf, W.I., Mason, B.D., McAlister, H.A., Turner, N.H., Barry, D.J., Franz, O.G., & Prieto, C.M. 1996 AJ, 111, 936
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- Hartkopf, W.I., Mason, B.D., Wycoff, G.L., & McAlister, H.A. 2001b, Fourth Catalog of Interferometric Measurements of Binary Stars
- Horch, E.P., Franz, O.G., & Ninkov, Z. 2000, AJ 120, 2638
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