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Star data for a project


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I'm working on a student project to create a star chart (using a spreadsheet) of the main constellations. I've been using the data shown in Stellarium and covering one constellation at a time and reading off the data a star at a time. This has worked fine for the first two or 3 constellations and provided a good basis for testing in principle the plotting the stars on a chart.

I was wondering though, whether the star data (catalogue designation, name, magnitude, RA and Dec) for the principle stars of the constellations is available to be downloaded anywhere? If not, then I will work through the other constellations one at a time, but I was hoping that I can speed this up somewhat.

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I'd suggest Astroplanner as a tool for this type of job. It can read and display many ( like literally 100's) of different catalogues including the Bright Star, Tycho etc.

It's possible to export the required data, ie Star name, Ra, Dec etc etc into Excel.

Check it out.

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Had a look at Astroplanner. Looks quite good but rather difficult to use. The problem here though is when I exported stars from the Orion constellation, there were no actual names just HR, HD and SAO references. Stellarium has real names like 'Betegueuse' and HP references so I can't correlate the two.

I did notice that Astroplanner has additional catalogues - quite a few of them in fact - but you can't seem to download any of them. Its just a list. I presume that you have to pay for them. Which catalogue would I require to get the HP references?

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Doc, I had a look at that link. Its says that "An offline readable version of the Bright Star Catalogue is distributed with the Bright Star Catalogue Viewer" I downloaded the Bright Star Catalog Viewer which is an executable file (bscv20.exe) but when I try to run it, my AV software (Kaspersky) tells me that there is a hidden installer and recommends that I deny it the opportunity to run. A further look at the description of the problem suggests that its a hidden trojan. I've taken the cautious route and stopped the program from installing. There are further links to the Astronomical Data Centre, but when I try to go there I get "The connection was refused when attempting to contact adc.gsfc.nasa.gov."

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Just an update. Found another link on that page to http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/W3Browse/star-catalog/bsc5p.html. This is looking more useful but doesn't appear to have constellation groupings. Also found a couple of other star name listings but nothing that correlates easily. There seems to be a lot of data out there in various listings and catalogues but little it seems that brings it alltogether into one exhaustive catalogue. The online version of BSC here (http://www.alcyone.de/SIT/bsc/) looks pretty much like what I'm looking. If only I could download those lists....

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Well I'm managing to pull off the data one constellation at a time from http://www.alcyone.de/SIT/bsc/ and pasting it into Open Office Calc. I've also added a column with constellation flag while I'm at it so I get the constellation groupings. I'm nearly half way there. Just a couple of hours more should do it.

The 'hidden installer' alert could have been a false positive, bit I've heard of malware being slipped into shareware, programming libraries or controls and finding its way accidentally into the finshed software product so I didn't want to risk it. I intend to e-mail them about it when I have 5 mins.

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