Comparison of recommended astrometric and photometric star catalogues

Catalog name Number of stars Completeness Astrometric precision Photometry Notes
Precision Bands
Hipparcos 118,218 complete to 7.3 ÷ 9.0m;
have stars to 12.4m
0.001" to 0.003" 0.001m to 0.002m
for brighter stars
V, B  
Tycho-2 2.5 million stars 2.0m to 12m;
99% complete to 11.0m;
95% complete to 11.5m
0.01" to 0.1" for <9m 0.012m
for >9m 0.06m
for 11.5m 0.15m
VT, BT VT and BT magnitudes
are close to V and B
USNO-A2.0 526,230,881 stars to 18m 0.25" 0.5m to 2m at maximum
due to photometric calibration errors
B, R No proper motions;
Superseded by USNO-B1.0.
USNO-B1.0 1,042,618,261 stars to 21m 0.2" 0.3m B, R and partially I  
UCAC-2 48 million basically 8.0 to 16.0m 0.02" to 0.07" 0.1m to 0.3m
(but non-standard color band)
J, K
Preliminary catalog covering 86%
of the sky below 45. Photometry is poor,
with errors on the order 0.1 to 0.3
magnitudes in a single, non-standard color.
J and K magnitudes are taken from 2MASS
GSC 2.3.2 945,562,683 stars to 20m basically 0.3";
0.35" to 0.75" on plate edges
for stars >16m
0.2m to 0.25m F, j, N, O, E and partially V
(for nothern declinations)
No proper motions;
F band is photographic red,
j band is photographic blue
GSPC 2.4 554,007 stars basically 14m to 19m
and fainter
immaterial < 0.07m V, R and partially B These faint star photometry catalogs
doesn't pretend to a completeness,
they just cover some fields (centers of
Palomar plates in case of GSPC).
LONEOS photometry
for faint field stars
34,300 stars basically 10m to 20m
and fainter
immaterial < 0.05m V, B and partially U, R, I


2008 Dimitry Chestnov

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