Summary of 98 Double Star Catalogs
This selection is drawn from the January, 2015 Washington Double Star Catalog, which contained 770 unique catalog designations. Each astronomer or observatory is credited with a total number of objects (unique WDS ID numbers); all catalogs listed here are credited with at least six pairs judged to be "high probability physical systems."

These are identified using the auditing method adopted for the
Cambridge Double Star Atlas, 2nd ed. (2015). The auditing method calculates a Q score (physicality score) as follows. (1) Points are added if the projected separation is less than 5,000 AU (for pairs where a parallax distance is available for the primary star), if there is a small or no divergence in the relative proper motion of the components, if there is a flag in WDS that indicates a physical pair based on CPM or parallax evidence (or both), and if there is a calculated orbit of "preliminary" to "definitive" quality in the Sixth Orbital Catalog. (2) Points are subtracted if there is a projected separation greater than 50,000 AU, or there is evidence that the pair is optical (a linear solution in Sixth Orbital, very divergent proper motions, discrepant parallax distances, or an "optical" or "bogus" WDS flag). Dynamic indicators have a greater weight than projected separation, and orbital motion greater weight than CPM. Pairs that have no evidence either way will have a score of 0. This score identifies pairs within WDS that have the highest probability of being physical systems or the highest probability of being pair asterisms, or pairs that are ambiguous and lack evidence either way.

The table lists the astronomer or observatory credited with the double star entry in WDS; the catalog ID; the total number of objects in the catalog; the number of "high probability" physical systems with a Q score greater than 3; the ratio of high probability to total catalog entries; and, for the "high probability" pairs in that catalog, the average Q score, average separation (ρ) in arcseconds and average pair magnitude of components.

The most productive catalogs were compiled by F.W. Struve, R.G. Aitken, R.A. Rossiter, W. Hussey and the U.S. Naval Observatory. Note that "discovery" attributions cannot be confidently credited to individual astronomers: in particular, of the more than 700 independent double star discoveries made by William Herschel, only 179 are still credited to him in WDS. The catalogs with the highest yield of physical systems were by Hussey, F.W. Struve, O. Struve, Shaya & Olling, Ahad, Sellors and Alvan Clark.

Many modern catalogs rely on apertures or interferometry beyond the reach of amateur observers and are excluded on visual criteria alone, although they contain many undoubtedly physical pairs. In contrast, the catalogs by Espin, Jonckheere, Pourteau, Greaves, Milburn and others are huge compendiums of optical chaff.

Across the entire WDS, 670 catalogs consist of 5 or fewer attributions and 565 of those contribute no physical pairs. The 98 catalogs listed here identify a total number of 11,247 probable physical systems within reach of amateur astronomers, 98% of the WDS total.

Astronomer or
Catalog IDNumber of
Number of
Ratio of
Average QAverage

F.W. StruveSTF301813490.4511.135.37.95
R.G. AitkenA308811680.389.15.99.12
R.A. RossiterRST55038900.167.81.710.03
W. HusseyHU15937260.469.03.09.21
USNO Astrographic CatalogUC50566980.148.936.113.07
R.T.A. InnesI15195800.388.85.38.74
S. BurnhamBU15045480.3610.429.67.71
W. van den BosB28985270.
B. SkiffSKF24984150.1710.122.212.80
P. CouteauCOU26714080.158.01.410.17
J. HerschelHJ51673750.079.921.69.37
O. StruveSTT5512590.4712.042.47.18
Hipparcos catalogHDS33712230.
H.F. DonnerDON11022080.197.72.510.11
P. MullerMLR6501580.
W.J. LuytenLDS58761550.0310.062.213.95
E.J. Shaya & R. OllingSHY1781520.859.3881.16.88
G.W. HoughHO6121500.2510.116.68.55
R. CaballeroCBL5461250.239.831.913.67
T.E. EspinES26501090.048.410.310.06
G.W. HoughGWP16381070.079.356.913.54
M.K. JessupJSP9181020.
W.D. HeintzHEI881980.117.62.410.55
R. JonckheereJ2926980.
W.S. FinsenFIN421790.
Astronomische GesellschaftAG384720.1910.017.09.45
T.J.J. SeeSEE401700.189.513.18.01
E.S. HoldenHLD167660.409.414.19.24
Burnham proper motionBPM2460640.039.386.413.89
A. TokovininTOK638630.109.7335.07.99
Cordoba ObservatoryCOO286610.
R. BenavidesBVD336590.1810.528.812.45
J. DunlopDUN165470.2911.246.66.15
N.R. Deacon et al.DEA93440.478.453.69.72
B.H. DawsonDAW219410.
S. LepineLEP115370.329.8199.68.99
Cape ObservatoryCPO703340.
J. SouthS153330.2210.580.97.15
J. GreavesGRV1224330.0310.236.312.01
H.A. HoweHWE99310.3110.59.08.44
H. GiclasGIC189300.1610.2118.212.24
W. HerschelH179290.1610.268.96.55
J. Stock & H. WroblewskiSWR151280.1910.221.111.02
F. KustnerKU130270.219.831.49.81
G.P. KuiperKUI121260.2212.415.47.62
O. Struve supplementSTTA151260.1711.087.57.45
H.C. RussellR222260.1210.119.19.52
W. MilburnMLB1026260.038.58.810.80
J. South & J. HerschelSHJ71240.349.599.86.20
J.L. HalbwachsHJL95240.2511.0141.48.43
W. Struve supplemental catalogSTFA50220.4412.6169.55.80
O. StoneSTN55220.409.27.28.80
R. BaillaudBAL1923220.019.011.910.90
F. DammDAM800210.038.614.311.39
Harvard ObservatoryHDO247200.0810.723.67.78
A. KrugerKR49190.399.821.89.65
C.P. OliverOL138180.139.03.810.36
S.G. BartonBRT3112180.018.14.311.44
A. AhadAHD32150.479.920.810.07
P. FoxFOX321150.058.330.19.57
R.P. SellorsSLR24140.5811.83.27.68
New Zealand ObservatoryNZO94140.158.45.610.13
J.M. GillissGLI106140.139.726.58.69
J. SteinSTI2094140.0110.29.911.50
C.E. WorleyWOR42130.3110.08.110.40
Tcyho catalog part ITDS9900130.
A. ClarkAC17120.7115.745.06.49
M.P. NicholsonNI30120.4010.815.812.05
E.E. BartonBAR64120.198.537.39.85
L. HargraveHRG101110.1110.211.69.83
W.S. JacobJC2490.3811.673.96.02
E. DoolittleDOO9090.108.417.010.27
G.M. PopovicPOP20990.048.619.310.94
Tcyho catalog part IITDT427690.008.21.411.04
M.A. PourteauPOU545490.007.811.112.49
H. DembowskiD3280.2510.344.08.37
various (the Astronomical Journal)TSN11380.079.3135.913.53
J. GalloGAL15880.059.318.49.93
F.M. Rica RomeroFMR22980.049.942.814.13
R. EngelmannENG8970.0810.8140.47.04
S. van den BerghBGH1970.3712.6290.48.07
F.P. LeavenworthLV2570.
Brisbane ObservatoryBSO2270.3214.149.66.40
Washington Naval ObservatoryWNO5670.1311.5120.511.21
I.T. FalconITF7570.099.954.013.15
F. ArgelanderARG9570.078.924.89.15
J.M. RousseauRSS48770.019.718.09.19
A.N. VyssotskyVYS1360.4611.64.410.57
W.R. DawesDA1360.469.514.27.15
K.L. LuhmanLUH1660.3811.5127.68.92
C. RumkerRMK2060.308.716.65.66
M. WeisseWEI2660.2311.351.39.14
La Plata ObservatoryLPO7260.
Bordeaux catalogBPMA9460.0610.4226.013.87
D. ArnoldARN11060.0610.5142.57.79
Yale ObservatoryWFC27360.0210.714.310.14
J. ChiversCVR174160.0010.717.616.95