Washington Double Star Catalog
Alternative namesWDS
The distribution of the objects of the catalog over the firmament is fairly even.
The distribution of the objects of the catalog over the firmament is fairly even.

The Washington Double Star Catalog, or WDS, is a catalog of double stars, maintained at the United States Naval Observatory. The catalog contains positions, magnitudes, proper motions and spectral types and has entries for (as of June 2017) 141,743 pairs of double stars. The catalog also includes multiple stars. In general, a multiple star with n components will be represented by entries in the catalog for n-1 pairs of stars.


The database used to construct the WDS originated at Lick Observatory, where it was used to construct the Index Catalog of Visual Double Stars, published in 1963. In 1965, under the initiative of Charles Worley, it was transferred to the Naval Observatory.[1]

The catalog has since been augmented by many measurements, mainly from the Hipparcos and Tycho catalogues and results from speckle interferometry, as well as other sources.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Douglass, Geoffrey G.; Corbin, Thomas E.; Mason, Brian D. (1998). "CHARLES EDMUND WORLEY, 1935-1997". Charles Worley obituary, United States Naval Observatory, 1998. Retrieved on 2008-09-04 from http://ad.usno.navy.mil/wds/history/worobit.html.
  2. ^ Mason, Brian D.; Wycoff, Gary L.; Hartkopf, William I.; Douglass, Geoffrey G.; Worley, Charles E. (2001). "The Washington Double Star Catalog, 2001.0". Astrometry Department, United States Naval Observatory, 2001. "These files are no longer updated. This is an archival website for the 2001.0 edition of the Washington Double Star Catalog. The last major update to this site was 26 September 2001 by Brian Mason." Retrieved on 2008-09-04 from http://ad.usno.navy.mil/wds/wds2001.html.