Bigger, better catalog unveils half a billion celestial objects

June 03, 2001

It's a very big universe out there, and an astronomer's work is never done when it comes to simply counting and cataloging the sheer number of stars in the heavens.

Completing a seven-year effort at digitizing and analyzing the entire sky for a second time, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD, and the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, in Italy, are releasing the Guide Star Catalog II (GSC-II). This new version, which replaces the historic 1989 catalog, provides important information on nearly one-half billion stars -- over 20 times as many as the original Guide Star Catalog.
-end-
NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo to accompany this release is available on the Web at: http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2001/18 and via links in http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html; http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html and http://hubble.stsci.edu/go/news.

The GSC-II consortium is dedicating the catalog to the memory of Dr. Barry M. Lasker, who passed away in February 1999. Dr. Lasker, one of the founders of the STScI, was directly responsible for the vision that led to the creation of the DSS and GSC projects that have greatly influenced and benefited modern observational astronomy.

The Guide Star Catalog-II is a joint project of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino. The participation of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino was supported by the Italian Council for Research in Astronomy. Additional support was provided by the European Southern Observatory, the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, the International Gemini project, and the European Space Agency Astrophysics Division.

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

To receive STScI press releases electronically, send an Internet electronic mail message to public-request@stsci.edu. Leave the subject line blank, and type the word subscribe in the body of the message. The system will respond with a confirmation of the subscription, and you will receive new press releases as they are issued. Please subscribe using the email account with which you would like to receive list messages. To unsubscribe, send email to public-request@stsci.edu. Leave the subject line blank, and type the word unsubscribe in the body of the message. Please unsubscribe using the email account that you used to subscribe to the list.

CONTACT: Brian McLean Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD; Phone: 410-338-4900; E-mail: mclean@stsci.edu or Mario G. Lattanzi Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino Pino Torinese (TO), Italy. Phone: 39-011-8101923; E-mail: lattanzi@to.astro.it.

PRESS RELEASE NO.: STScI-PR01-18

Space Telescope Science Institute

Related Stars Articles from Brightsurf:

How stars form in the smallest galaxies
The question of how small, dwarf galaxies have sustained the formation of new stars over the course of the Universe has long confounded the world's astronomers.

The stars that time forgot
Scientists led by astronomers at the University of Sydney and Carnegie Observatories have found the remnant of strange dismembered globular cluster at the edge of the Milky Way, upending theories about how heavy elements formed in early stars.

Sun is less active than similar stars
By cosmic standards the sun is extraordinarily monotonous. This is the result of a study presented by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in the upcoming issue of Science.

On the origin of massive stars
This scene of stellar creation, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, sits near the outskirts of the famous Tarantula Nebula.

And then there was light: looking for the first stars in the Universe
Astronomers are closing in on a signal that has been travelling across the Universe for 12 billion years, bringing them nearer to understanding the life and death of the very earliest stars.

Massive stars grow same way as light stars, just bigger
Astronomers obtained the first detailed face-on view of a gaseous disk feeding the growth of a massive baby star.

Our history in the stars
Astronomers map the substance aluminum monoxide (AlO) in a cloud around a distant young star -- Origin Source I.

Stars exploding as supernovae lose their mass to companion stars during their lives
Stars over eight times more massive than the sun end their lives in supernovae explosions.

Old stars live longer than we thought
The type of stars we refer to, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, officially up to now the objects which have suffered the greatest loss of mass.

A nearby river of stars
Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the work of researchers from the University of Vienna, who have found a river of stars, a stellar stream in astronomical parlance, covering most of the southern sky.

Read More: Stars News and Stars Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.