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 systems (unique WDS ID numbers); among these, "high probability" physical systems are identified using the auditing method adopted for the Cambridge Double Star Atlas, 2nd ed. (2015). The ratio or yield of physical systems from each catalog is given with the average physicality score, average separation and average sum magnitude of the pairs.

The auditing method calculates a Q score (physicality score) based on the weighted sum of the following quality criteria: (1) a calculated orbit (if any) as opposed to rectilinear relative motion, (2) a projected radius that is either less than 5,000 AU or greater than 50,000 AU, (3) a Euclidean divergence in proper motions that is either less than 30% or more than 80% the greater proper motion, or (4) parallax estimates cited in the WDS notes as indicating either a more likely physical or optical pair. The average Q shown in the table essentially evaluates the quality of the catalog yield, and catalogs had to have an average Q score of 6 or more to be included in this list.

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 system 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 visual 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