Standard ASCII and binary formats have been developed at the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Telescope Data Center
for astronomical catalogs which are to
be plotted (or used as centers) by skymap,
or searched (or used as search centers) by
Local Astronomical Catalog Formats
A simple ASCII catalog format was designed for ease of entry.
Catalogs in this format can be plotted or used to designate map or search
centers. Due to the existence of many formats for positional data, the simple
structure has evolved over time, keeping its essential simplicy, but
allowing more variation in the content and format of the position entries.
ASCII Catalog Examples
Binary catalogs, which can be created from the aforementioned ASCII catalogs
using starcat, are used to save space and
make searches faster by presenting
software with data in its internal representation. ASCII catalogs may be
transferred between various computer architectures. The byte order in a
binary catalog depends on the architecture on which it was written, though
the catalog reading software can read either byte order.
Catalogs available in this binary format include the
SAO Catalog, the
PPM Catalog, and the
IRAS Point Source Catalog.
Last updated 14 March 2022 by