OPTICAL - Master Optical Catalog



The OPTICAL database table is a deprecated master catalog containing selected parameters from a large number of optical source catalogs. OPTICAL was created by copying all of the entries and some common parameters from the HEASARC databases that comprise the catalogs in the various categories listed below. Notice that this means that (i) a single object, e.g., the star Capella or the galaxy M 101, can thus have multiple entries in OPTICAL depending on how many of the individual catalogs that it is listed in, and (ii) that only a few of the parameters that are listed in the source catalogs are listed in the corresponding OPTICAL entries: to find all of the information that is available for an object, the individual source catalogs should be checked.

The OPTICAL database table has many entries but relatively few parameters. It provided users with general information about sources obtained from a variety of catalogs. OPTICAL is especially suitable for cone searches and cross-correlation with other catalogs. Each entry in OPTICAL has a parameter called 'database_table' which indicates from which original database the entry was copied. Users can browse that original database should they wish to examine ALL of the parameter fields for a particular entry.

For some entries in OPTICAL, certain of the parameter fields are blank (or contain values of zero); this indicates that the original database did not contain that particular parameter.


The OPTICAL master catalog table was last updated on 3 November 2022.


This table was deprecated by the HEASARC in 2005. Because the optical frequency regime is not part of the HEASARC's mission, the HEASARC chose to focus instead on our other master catalogs (XRAY, RADIO, and EUV) that we maintain and keep up to date. Note that, although the OPTICAL master catalog is no longer accessible to users, the component catalogs that comprised the OPTICAL master catalog are still available in the HEASARC database and can be queried independently.

Star Catalogs in OPTICAL

The following catalogs of individual stars and of star clusters are contained in OPTICAL (notice some very old catalogs, such as the HD and BD catalogs, which have very inaccurate positions by modern standards are consequently not included in this compilation):
 * ACRS       - Astrographic Catalog of Reference Stars (Corbin & Urban 1991)
 * ASIAGOSN99 - Asiago Supernovae Catalogue, 1999 Edition (Barbon et al. 1999)
 * BATTEN     - Catalog of Orbital Elements of Spectroscopic Binary Systems
                (8th Edition, Batten et al. 1989)
 * BESTARS    - Catalog of Be Stars (Jaschek and Egret 1982)
 * BSC5P      - Bright Star Catalog (5th Revised Edition, Hoffleit & Warren 1991)
 * CABSCAT    - Catalog of Chromospherically Active Binaries (2nd Edition,
                Strassmeier et al. 1993)
 * CNS3       - Third Catalog of Nearby Stars, Prelim. Vers. (Gliese & Jahreiss 1991)
 * CPSTARS    - General Catalog of Ap and Am Stars (Renson et al. 1991-92)
 * CVCAT      - Catalog of Cataclysmic Variables (Living Edition, Downes et al. 2001+)
 * DUERBECK   - Reference Catalog of Galactic Novae (Duerbeck 1990)
 * GLOBCLUST  - Catalog of Milky Way Globular Clusters (Harris 1999)
 * GCVS       - General Catalog of Variable Stars: Galactic Variables
 * GCVSEGSN   - General Catalog of Variable Stars: Extragalactic Supernovae
 * GCVSEGVARS - General Catalog of Variable Stars: Extragalactic Variables
 * GCVSNSVARS - General Catalog of Variable Stars: New Suspected Variables
 * HBC        - Third Catalog of Orion Pop. Emission-Line Stars (Herbig & Bell 1988)
 * HDEC       - Catalog of Henry Draper Extension Chart Stars (Cannon et al. 1995)
 * HIC        - Hipparcos Input Catalog, Version 2 (Turon et al.1993)
 * HIPPARCOS  - Hipparcos Main Catalog (Perryman et al. 1997)
 * LMCCLUSTRS - Catalog of Large Magellanic Cloud Clusters (Kontizas et al 1990)
 * M31CLUSTRS - Catalog of M31 Globular Cluster Candidates
                (Battistini et al. 1980)
 * M31STARS   - Catalog of the Brightest Stars in the Field of M31
                (Berkhuijensen et al. 1988)
 * M31STARS2  - Catalog of Objects in the Field of M31 (Magnier et al. 1992-94)
 * MACS       - Magellanic (LMC & SMC) Catalog of Stars (Tucholke et al. 1996)
 * MCKSION    - Catalog of Spectroscopically IDed White Dwarfs (McCook & Sion 1999)
 * NLTT       - NLTT Catalog and First Supplement (Lyuten 1979, 1980)
 * OPENCLUST  - Catalog of Open Cluster Data (5th Ed., Lynga 1987)
 * OSTARS     - Galactic O-Type Stars Catalog (Garmany et al. 1982)
 * PMSUCAT    - Palomar/MSU Nearby Star Survey (Reid et al. 1995-97)
 * PPM        - Catalog of Positions and Proper Motions (Roeser and Bastian 1988-94)
 * REVISEDLHS - Revised Luyten Half-Second (LHS) Catalog (Bakos et al. 2002)
 * RITTERRBIN - Catalog of Related Objects to Cataclysmics (Ritter et al. 1998)
 * RITTERCV   - Catalog of Cataclysmic Binaries (Variables) (Ritter et al. 1998)
 * RITTERLMXB - Catalog of Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries (Ritter et al. 1998)
 * SAO        - Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog (1984)
 * SMCCLUSTRS - Catalog of SMC & IMC Bridge Clusters (Bica & Schmitt 1995)
 * SMCSTARS   - Catalog of Probable Member Stars of the SMC
                (Azzopardi et al. 1975-79)
 * SMCSTARS2  - Catalog of SMC H-alpha Emission Stars & Nebulae
                (Meysonnier & Azzopardi 1993)
 * WACKERLING - Catalog of Early-Type Emission-Line Stars (Wackerling 1970)
 * WDS        - Washington Double Star Catalog, http://ad.usno.navy.mil/proj/WDS/
 * WOODEBCAT  - Catalog of Interacting Binary Stars (5th Ed., Wood et al. 1980)
 * WOOLLEY    - Woolley Catalog of Stars within 25 Parsecs of the Sun (1970)
 * WRCAT      - The VIIth Catalogue of Galactic Wolf-Rayet Stars (van der Hucht 2001)

Other Catalogs in OPTICAL

The following miscellaneous catalogs are contained in OPTICAL:
 * MESSIER    - Catalog of Bright Extended Objects (Messier)
 * NGC2000    - Complete New General Catalog and Index Catalog of Nebulae and
                Star Clusters (Dreyer 1988)
 * PG         - Palomar-Green Catalog of UV-Excess Stellar Objects (Green et al. 1986)
 * HRASSOPTID - Hamburg/ROSAT All-Sky Survey Catalog of Optical Identifications
                of X-Ray Sources (Zickgraf et al. 2003)

Extragalactic Catalogs in OPTICAL

The following catalogs of galaxies and other extragalactic objects are contained in OPTICAL:
 * ABELL      - Abell Catalog of Galaxy Clusters (Abell et al. 1989)
 * CFA2S      - CfA Redshift Survey: South Galactic Cap Data (Huchra et al. 1999)
 * CGMW       - Candidate galaxies Behind the Milky Way (Saito et al. 1990-98)
 * DENISIGAL  - First DENIS I-band Extragalactic Catalog (Vauglin et al. 1999)
 * ESOUPPSALA - ESO-Uppsala ESO(B) Atlas Survey (Lauberts 1982)
 * EXGALEMOBJ - Catalog of Extragalactic Emission-Line Objects Similar to
                Quasi-Stellar Objects (Hewitt & Burbidge 1991)
 * HCG        - Catalog of Compact Groups of Galaxies: Groups Data (Hickson 1982-94)
 * HCGGALAXY  - Catalog of Compact Groups of Galaxies: Individual Galaxies Data
                (Hickson 1982-94)
 * LBQS       - Large Bright Quasar Survey (Hewett et al. 1995)
 * MARKARIAN  - Catalog of Galaxies with UV Continuum (Markarian 1967-81)
 * MCG        - Morphological Catalog of Galaxies (Vorontsov-Velyaminov et al. 1962-68)
 * PGC2003    - Principal Galaxy Catalog (Paturel et al. 2003)
 * QORGCAT    - All-Sky Optical Catalog of Radio/X-Ray Sources
                (Flesch & Hardcastle 2004)
 * QSO        - Catalog of Quasi-Stellar Objects (Hewitt & Burbidge 1993)
 * RC3        - 3rd Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies (de Vaucouleurs et al. 1991)
 * SDSSQUASAR - Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Catalog, Data Release 1
                (Schneider et al. 2003)
 * SHK        - Catalog of Compact Groups of Galaxies:Groups Data (Shakhbazian 1973-79)
 * SHKGALAXY  - Catalog of Compact Groups of Galaxies: Individual Galaxies Data
                (Stoll et al. 1993-97)
 * UGC        - Uppsala General Catalogue of Galaxies (Nilson 1973)
 * UZC        - Updated Zwicky Catalog (Falco et al. 1999)
 * VERONCAT   - Catalog of Quasars and AGN (11th Ed., Veron-Cetty & Veron 2003)
 * WBL        - WBL Poor Galaxy Clusters Catalog (White et al. 1999)
 * WBLGALAXY  - WBL Individual Galaxies Data Catalog (White et al. 1999)
 * ZCAT       - CfA Redshift Catalog, 1995 Version (Huchra et al. 1995)
 * ZWCLUSTERS - Catalog of Galaxies & Clusters of Galaxies (Zwicky et al.

Nebula Catalogs in OPTICAL

The following catalogs of nebulae and gas clouds in our Galaxy are contained in OPTICAL:
 * LBN        - Catalog of Bright Nebulae (Lynds 1965)
 * LDN        - Catalog of Dark Nebulae (Lynds 1962)
 * HIIREGION  - Catalog of H II Regions (Sharpless 1959)
 * PLNEBULAE  - Catalog of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (Acker et al. 1980)
 * SNRGREEN   - Catalog of Galactic Supernova Remnants, 1998 Vers. (Green 1998)


The commonly-used name of the object, as given in the original catalog.

The name of the HEASARC database table from which this entry was taken.

The right ascension of the object in the selected equinox.

The declination of the object in the selected equinox.

The redshift z of the object, either as given in the original catalog, or if not explicitly given there, as calculated from the heliocentric radial velocity vr in km/sec, if the latter is given in the original catalog, using the conversion z = vr / 2.997925E05.

The apparent magnitude, if given in the original catalog. This is usually either the Johnson B or V magnitude, but can be in other more obscure bands. The original catalogs should be checked to discover the bandpass.

The BROWSE object classification.

Contact Person

Questions regarding the OPTICAL database table can be addressed to the HEASARC User Hotline.
Page Author: Browse Software Development Team
Last Modified: Wednesday, 18-Mar-2015 18:30:46 EDT