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PKSCAT90 - Parkes Southern Radio Source Catalog, Version 1.01



PKSCAT90 is the Parkes Catalog (1990) and consists of radio and optical data for 8,264 radio sources. It covers essentially all the sky south of declination +27 degrees but largely excludes the Galactic Plane and the Magellanic Cloud regions. The latter zones have been the subject of other, specialist surveys. A few data errors in Version 1.00 have been corrected in the present edition (see below). This version of the Parkes Radio Source Catalog is entitled "PKSCAT90 Version 1.01."

The original Parkes radio catalog was compiled from major radio surveys with the Parkes radiotelescope at frequencies of 408 MHz and 2700 MHz. This work spanned a period of nearly 20 years and was undertaken largely by John Bolton and his colleagues. Since then, improved positions, optical identifications, and redshifts have been obtained for many of the sources in the catalog. Furthermore, flux densities at several frequencies have supplemented the original surveys so that the measurements now cover the frequency range 80-22,000 MHz. However, coverage at the highest frequencies is still sparse.

Important contributions to the usefulness of the catalog have been radio data from the Molonglo 408-MHz survey and the 80-MHz Culgoora measurements of Slee et al. PKSCAT90 should thus be regarded as a compendium of radio and optical data about southern radio sources. However, at the moment, it contains only sources originally found in the Parkes 2700-MHz survey (see e.g. Part 14, Bolton et al, 1979, Aust J Phys, Astrophys Suppl, No. 46 and references therein.)

The original radio survey data of the catalog and the optical identifications have been published in a series of papers in the Australian Journal of Physics (see above reference). The associated optical spectral data on which redshifts were obtained has also been published, mainly in Astrophysical Journal and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

About the completeness levels of the catalog in various parts of the sky: users should note that the sky zone between -4 and +4 degrees has been the subject of a re-survey and is now complete to 0.25 Jy.

The author Alan Wright notes that "PKSCAT90 was produced at a time when relational databases were in their infancy. In the future we anticipate making the individual data sources available separately -- through such search systems as SIMBAD -- rather than in an 'omnibus' catalog like PKSCAT90. For both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, superior and deeper finding surveys now exist: the 87GB catalog in the North (Gregory and Condon et al. 1991, ApJ, 75, 1011, CDS Catalog VIII/14) and the PMN catalogs (Griffith and Wright 1993, AJ, 105, 1666, CDS Catalog VIII/38, available at the HEASARC as the PMN table) in the South."

Catalog Bibcode



Parkes Radio Sources Catalogue, Version 1.01
    Wright A.E. and Otrupcek R.
   <Australia Telescope National Facility, Parkes (1990)>

The Parkes 2700 MHz Survey - Part 14 - Catalog and New Optical Identifications
    Bolton J.G, Savage A., Wright A.E.
   <Aust J Phys, Astrophys Suppl, No. 46 (1979) and references therein>


This table was updated by the HEASARC in July 2015 based on CDS Catalog VIII/15 file pkscat90.dat, replacing a version based on the original (version 1) PKSCAT90, which was created in 1995. It was further updated in September 2015 as noted in the "Version 1.01 Modifications" section above.

Version 1.01 Modifications

  * June 1993, corrections from H. Andernach (
      a) The source B0000-177 was NOT 3C465 (but source B2335+267)
      b) The last source B0420-086 was misplaced
    In references:
      BE66b  is AuJP 19, 275 (not p. 27)
      W67  is MN 135, p. 339 (not p. 24)
  * 10-May-1996: Alan Wright [Parkes], Francois Ochsenbein [CDS]:
    Documentation rewritten.
  * 10-Jul-1999: catalog reformatted at CDS to allow an automatic
    recognition of all numeric fields (magnitude, redshift, flux densities)
    References were also reformatted, and the bibcodes were added.
  * 17-Jul-1999: The source B1246-410 was wrongly associated to NGC4296,
    corrected to NGC4696 (H. Andernach <>)
  * 06-Feb-2004: 'a' and 'b' suffixes were added (in order of increasing
    right ascension) in the JName column to distinguish the cases having
    name collisions. The modification concerns the sources
    J0013+2045, J0302-3415, and J1643-4029 [Francois Ochsenbein, CDS]
  * 03-Sep-2015: positions of 2 sources corrected [Francois Ochsenbein, CDS]
    -- B1829-718=J1835-7150 originally at 18 27 36.9 -36 04 38 (B1950)
                           corrected   to 18 29 42.5 -71 52 23
    -- B2105-489=J2108-4846 originally at 21 05 37.5 -40 58 33 (B1950)
                           corrected   to 21 05 37.5 -48 58 33
    and fixed references cbs66 (was mbs6), sbb76 (was sb76); added wp85
  * 30-Sep-2015: position of 1 of these 2 sources further corrected [Steve
    Drake, HEASARC]
    -- B2105-489=J2108-4846 corrected to 21 05 24.7 -48 58 32 (B1950)


The J2000 position-based PKSCAT90 source name, e.g., 'PKS JHHMM-DDSSa', or JName. The CDS added 'a' and 'b' suffixes (in order of increasing Right Ascension) to a few of the JNames in order to distinguish cases having name collisions. The modifications concerned the sources PKS J0013+2045, PKS J0302-3415, and PKS J1643-4029.

The Right Ascension of the radio source in the selected equinox. This was given in J2000.0 coordinates to a precision of 0.001, 0.01 or 0.1 seconds of time in the original table.

The Declination of the radio source in the selected equinox. This was given in J2000.0 coordinates to a precision of 0.01, 0.1 or 1 arcseconds in the original table.

The Galactic Longitude of the radio source.

The Galactic Latitude of the radio source.

The positional accuracy of the radio source (to be read as "better than"), in arcseconds.

The B1950 position-based PKSCAT90 source name, e.g., 'PKS BHHMM-DDSS'.

A common alternative designation for the radio source.

Beginning with version 1 of the catalog, new identification and field classification codes have been used, mainly for the unidentified or "blank-field" sources. The following table lists both the new and the old codes:

     Code  Description                                        Old Code

    Identified Sources:
     BLC   BL Lacertae object                                   BLC
     D     Diffuse galaxy, bright galaxies in clusters          D
     DB    Double galaxy                                        DB
     E     Elliptical Galaxy                                    E
     G     Galaxy too faint to classify                         G
     HII   HII region                                           HII
     IRR   Irregular object                                     IRR
     N     N galaxy, bright cored galaxy                        N
     PN    Planetary Nebular                                    PN
     Q     Quasi-stellar object or Quasar (confirmed)           Q
     QC    Quasar with a continuous optical spectrum            QC
     S     Spiral galaxy                                        S
     SB    Barred Spiral galaxy                                 SB
     Sc    Spiral galaxy (type C)                               SC
     SNR   SuperNova Remnant                                    SNR
     S0    Spiral galaxy with ellipticity of zero               S0
            (nearly circular)
     StN   Stellar object of neutral color                      IIIS
            in good positional agreement with
            the radio source

    Unidentified Sources:
     Xg    one or more galaxies in the area                     II
            covered by the position error of the source
            but no identification claimed
     Xs    blank field: one or more stars of normal color       III
            in the error box
     Xsa   blank field: obscured by absorption                  IIIA
     X     blank field: no absorption apparent                  IIIB
     Xs+   blank field: crowded star field                      IIIC
     Xa    blank field: heavily obscured.                       IV

    Notes: 1) a '?' following any code specifies that that property is uncertain.
           2) The HEASARC has changed the '*' used in the CDS table with 'StN'
              above to avoid confusion with the wild-card character.

The apparent magnitude of the optical counterpart to the radio source, given to a precision of 0.01 or 0.1 magnitudes.

The redshift of the object

The flux density of the radio source at 80 MHz, in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 178 MHz, in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 408 MHz, in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 635 MHz, in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 1410 MHz (21 cm), in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 2700 MHz (11 cm), in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 5000 MHz (6 cm), in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 8400 MHz, in mJy.

The flux density of the radio source at 22000 MHz, in mJy.

Comma-separated reference codes for the identification. The full references and bibcodes corresponding to these codes can be found at

Comma-separated reference codes for the redshift. The full references and bibcodes corresponding to these codes can be found at

The date in the form "Year.Month", e.g., "83.11" for November 1983, for which an optical spectrum of the counterpart was obtained, but from which a definite redshift could not be determined.

The HEASARC Browse object classification based on the value of the Ident parameter.

Contact Person

Questions regarding the PKSCAT90 database table can be addressed to the HEASARC User Hotline.
Page Author: Browse Software Development Team
Last Modified: Friday, 02-Oct-2015 14:56:22 EDT