Catalogs

Aciqra displays a wide variety of objects, many of which are provided by object catalogs. Choice of catalog may be set in the configuration file by entering the "configuration name" listed under each catalog below into the setting representing the catalog type (ie. starcat = "bright" to use the Bright Star Catalog as the star catalog).

Star Catalogs

Several star catalogs are provided. The difference is in level of detail and in level of depth (ie. number of stars).

Yale Bright Star Catalog

Configuration name = bright

The Yale Bright Star Catalog, generally known as just the Bright Star Catalog (BSC) is the smallest catalog provided by Aciqra and includes just 9110 stars with a minimal level of detail. The faintest stars in the catalog are magnitude 6.5, approximately the brightness of the faintest stars visible without optical aid from a dark sky. This catalog loads extremely quickly relative to the other catalogs and should be used on systems that are unable to handle heavy processing requirements. The original catalog dates from 1908, but improvements have been made since then, and the included version dates from 1991.

Hipparcos Catalog

Configuration name = hipparcos

The Hipparcos catalog of 118218 stars was created by the European Space Agency satellite Hipparcos which recorded stellar positions and measured star parallaxes from 1989 to 1993. With its parallax data and therefore distance information to the stars, it remains the most detailed catalog of its size and is popularly used for creating 3D simulations of the universe which is not possible with the larger catalogs. The catalog includes most stars down to magnitude 9.0.

Tycho-2 Catalog

Configuration name = tycho2

The Tycho-2 catalog includes 2539913 (2.5 million) stars and, like the Hipparcos catalog, was generated by the Hipparcos satellite. However, Tycho-2 includes stars too distant for parallax measurements and therefore is less detailed than the Hipparcos catalog. Tycho-2 is an update to the original Tycho-1 catalog and was generated using more modern reduction techniques between 1997 and 2007. The catalog includes most stars down to magnitude 10.5.

The Tycho-2 catalog included with Aciqra, when used, is supplemented with data from the more detailed Hipparcos catalog. The Tycho-2 catalog is particularly slow when used because only the Hipparcos data is loaded at startup -- the Tycho-2 data is loaded on demand as it's needed. Therefore, use of this catalog requires heavy computational power including fast disk access to be fully usable. The Tycho-2 catalog is set as the default catalog.

Deep Space Catalogs

Currently, only one deep space catalog is provided: the NGC/IC catalog. In the future, additional deep space catalogs may be added.

NGC/IC Catalog

Configuration name = ngcic

The NGC/IC catalog is a combination of two highly respected deep space catalogs dating back to the 19th century: NGC and IC. Together, they contain 13226 deep space objects including nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. The version included with Aciqra is also supplemented with data from other catalogs on the shape and orientation of each object.