Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog is an astrometric star catalogue. It was published by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1966 and contains 258,997 stars.[1][2][3][4] The catalogue was compiled from various previous astrometric catalogues, and contains only stars to about ninth magnitude for which accurate proper motions were known. Names in the SAO catalogue start with the letters SAO, followed by a number. The numbers are assigned following 18 ten-degree bands of declination, with stars sorted by right ascension within each band.

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog
Alternative namesSAO

Examples of SAO catalogue entries


  1. ^ Star Catalog: Positions and Proper Motions of 258,997 Stars for the Epoch and Equinox of 1950.0, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Staff, Publications of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C., no. 4652, 4 vols., 1966 (reprinted 1971.)
  2. ^ Webpage on the SAO star catalog, B1950
  3. ^ Catalog translated to J2000
  4. ^ Interactive query form of the catalog
  5. ^ Millis, R. L.; Wasserman, L. H.; Birch, P. V. (1977). "Detection of rings around Uranus". Nature. 267: 330–331. Bibcode:1977Natur.267..330M. doi:10.1038/267330a0.
Catalog of Stellar Identifications

The Catalog of Stellar Identifications (CSI) is a star catalog which was constructed to facilitate cross-referencing between different star catalogs. It contains designations and basic data for, as of 1983, approximately 440,000 stars, and was created by merging the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog, the Henry Draper Catalogue, the AGK2/3, the Cape Photographic Catalogue, the Cape Zone Catalogue, the Yale Zone Catalogue, the Cape Catalogue of Faint Stars, and the Boss General Catalogue. It contains stellar coordinates, magnitudes, spectral types, proper motions, and cross-references to designations in the previously mentioned catalogs. It also gives cross-references to many other catalogues, such as the Index Catalogue of Visual Double Stars, which have been linked to the CSI. The CSI eventually became part of the SIMBAD stellar database.

List of astronomical catalogues

An astronomical catalogue is a list or tabulation of astronomical objects, typically grouped together because they share a common type, morphology, origin, means of detection, or method of discovery. Astronomical catalogs are usually the result of an astronomical survey of some kind.


SAO may stand for:

Saco Transportation Center (station code SAO), a train station in Saco, Maine, U.S.

Session-At-Once, a recording mode for optical discs

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog, which assigns SAO catalogue entries

Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science (SAO RAS)

Security Advisory Opinion, a U.S. visa decision-making process

Specified Associated Organisation, an organization of members of the British Liberal Democrats

SAO, the ICAO airline designator for Sahel Aviation Service, Mali

SAO, the IATA airport code for airports in the São Paulo metropolitan area, Brazil

Serb Autonomous Regions during the breakup of Yugoslavia

Sword Art Online, a Japanese light novel series

Star catalogue

A star catalogue (Commonwealth English) or star catalog (American English), is an astronomical catalogue that lists stars. In astronomy, many stars are referred to simply by catalogue numbers. There are a great many different star catalogues which have been produced for different purposes over the years, and this article covers only some of the more frequently quoted ones. Star catalogues were compiled by many different ancient people, including the Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Persians, and Arabs. They were sometimes accompanied by a star chart for illustration. Most modern catalogues are available in electronic format and can be freely downloaded from space agencies data centres.

Completeness and accuracy is described by the weakest apparent magnitude V (largest number) and the accuracy of the positions.

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