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LINKS to Double Star Resources, posts and articles

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#1 EdZ


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Posted 01 October 2009 - 05:47 AM

These are useful links to Double Star Lists. I'll add to this post as time goes on. there are other links buried in posts in this forum. I will eventually search them out and add them to this post so they won't be lost in the shuffle. edz

Washington Double Star Catalogue 90,000+ stars, Catalogue Updates to 2004

Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars - the source for info on fast...

Eagle Creek Observatory - Doubles List by Constellation
including a separate list of colorful doubles

The Spirit of 33 - doubles projects, 33 doubles in each constellation,
also includes special lists

Astronomical League's Double Star List
100 doubles listed in Right Ascension order,
however list has some outdated mid 90's information on separations of fast binaries

The Astronomical League's page - Double Star Club Certificate Info

AL Binocular Double Star Club
NEW! Observing DBL Stars with either binoculars or naked eye.

Double Star List - MAPUG Archive List by Right Ascension
as posted on MAPUG.com
listed sortable and usable for controllers

Richard Dibon-Smith's List of 150 Orbital binaries by Constellation
showing plotted and dated orbits

Saguaro Astronomy Club's Double Star Database of 10,000 stars

updated spring-summer 2006 and down-loadable into Xcel.
Thanks Steve Coe!

Also see the SAC Downloads front page for a Binary Star position calculator.

SAC's Double Star Searchable database

Double Stars To Follow
a selection of a few doubles stars, no current data, but good articles
as published on Prairie Astronomy Club Website

Belmont Society double star page
A pretty interesting resource. can be viewed by constellation and has data and pictures of colors for doubles. site also has deep sky objects.

Index of /double-stars/pictures

Delaware Valley Astronomy Club see double star list

Fairly large (800k) Struve list by PJ Anway. Here is the link:

Chart of The trapezium in M42 excellent resource and photos by Jerry Lodriguss

The Stars of The Trapezium
a comprehensive chart developed by CN member Mardi Clark
posted on her website cityastronomy.com from Whitepeak Observatory

Here's an article over on the CN Reviews side
Autumn Double Star Tour by P J Anway

And PJ's newest article Spring 2004,
Spring Double Star Tour by P J Anway

Here's a post from here in this forum with a list of doubles for testing scopes
Doubles to Test Your Scopes

and another post with
A Few Dawes Doubles

and this list

Here is a list that Robert Argyle compiled a few years ago in preparation for his book on "Observing and Measuring Visual Double Stars". It's on my website - printed with permission.


Best regards,

Enter the realm of 'Fuzzy Logic'! And herewith, the introduction of a nice little tool available to the doubles community! In short, Luis Argüelles, director of the Spirit of 33 Doubles Organization, developed a freeware application known as 'LADIC', for 'Luis Argüelles Difficulty Index Calculator'.
Here are links to the application, the 'Fuzzy Logic' explanation (a must-read!), & User's Manual. You'll find all these at:

LADIC ftp site:

How it works - the 'fuzzy logic': Introduction to LADIC
(Should be read to best understand - also links to User's Manual)

Publications of the Brayebrook Observatory
a double star resource leading to numerous technical papers

and this Brayebrook technical paper in particular
Telescopic resolution of Unequal Binaries by C.J.R. Lord

At this point I would recommend you also read a little on resolution:
Rayleigh Limit / Dawes Limit
Diffraction: Refractors vs. Reflectors

also see more recent discussion on same topic
Magnitude, Color and Obstruction affect resolution

How does Star Color and Star Magnitude affect Resolution
What’s your best chance of exceeding Rayleigh Limit with your scope?

If you would like to read a lot about many aspects of Resolution, including a longer version of the two topics mentioned directly above, refer to this 30 page article in the Cloudy Nights Technical Reports section
Understanding Resolution
this includes some common sense rules of thumb for magnifications needed to se various types of doubles, equal, unequal bright and faint.

For those of you trying to observe doubles only to find that your scope is badly out of collimation, and you just can't see what you had hoped for, I guide you to this thread with many links on how to accomplish collimation. Included are examples for newtonians and SCT's. My favorite article is by Theirry Legault. Some others favor the work written by Nils Olaf Carlin.
Collimating A Newtonian Reflector

And if you prefer paper bound books to do your home work, here's a great one:

Sky Catalogue 2000.0 Volume Two, "Double Stars, Variable Stars and Non-Stellar Objects", by Alan Hirshfield & Roger Sinnott, $42.95 new, 512 pgs. 9x11.5 soft. This is a real yellow pages to the galaxy and beyond. Lists data for all types of objects, including detailed sections on double stars and visual binaries. If a double has several fainter components, they will all be listed here. Not a text description type book, just reams of data. All data is listed by RA within object type group, i.e. all doubles, all open clusters, all globular clusters, etc. You can find anything in this book. Use the acetate supplied with Sky Atlas 2000.0 to determine coordinates and you can go to this reference to find DSO's or doubles with ease. There are far more DSO's in this reference than there are shown on Sky Atlas 2000.0 charts. Approximately 10,000 double / multiple stars listed, over 500 visual binaries, 500 spectroscopic binaries, and another 10,000 deep sky objects. Indispensable!

The Night Sky Observer's Guide books are also great double star references. NSOG has charts and it appears the double star data in the NSOG is the same as the data in Sky Catalogue 2000. SC2000 has much more info, but you need a set of good charts to reference. For charts, SkyAtlas 2000.0, to mag 8.5, or Uranometria, to mag 9.5, both work fine.


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