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    Default Complete Struve Catalog, Double Star Abbreviations, and other Double Star Info



    Double star aficionados may appreciate this complete list (http://www.munisingwebsites.com/look...ads/Struve.xls) of double stars associated with Friedrich Georg Wilhelm (“FGW”) von Struve. They are conveniently listed by constellation and then by Right Ascension therein.

    These “Struve doubles” are usually found in databases and charts in one of two formats: either preceded by a capital Greek letter sigma, Σ, or by the abbreviation “STF”. Many colorful double stars have Struve numbers affilitated with them, such as Delta Cygni which is also referred to as Σ 2579 or STF 2579. When using Cartes du Ciel (CdC) loaded with the Washington Double Star (WDS) Catalog, one uses the STF designation to look up the FGW Struve doubles.

    On the subject of doubles and astronomers named Struve, you may be interested to know that another famous Struve, Otto Struve, also has a number of double stars to his name. These are typically tighter or fainter pairs and are given the prefix OΣ or “STT” (the latter designation is used in Cartes du Ciel). There were several other prominent astronomers in the Struve family besides FGW and Otto, as described in this Wikipedia article: Struve family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When I am at the eyepieces hunting down tight or magnitude contrast pairs, such as STT 103 which I observed last night (look under 16 AUR for details on this challenging double: Eagle Creek Observatory -- Double Star Listings for Auriga, the Charioteer), I wonder how Otto Struve discovered some of these. The answer is he had his own humongous reflecting telescope in the McDonald Observatory several hours west of me here in Texas (Otto Struve Telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    Taken in part from Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, volume One, revised edition, below is a short list of double star prefixes and the astronomer in whose catalog they can found. There are many more than these, but this is the list I have used most often. I have added a separate column to indicate the prefix that is necessary when searching for this star in Cartes du Ciel.

    Astronomer Prefix CdC designation (if different)
    FGW Struve Σ stf
    Otto Struve OΣ stt
    SW Burnham β bu
    RG Aitken A
    WJ Hussey Hu
    GW Hough Ho


    For the amateur astronomer who wishes to consult a chart to see what doubles abound in a particular constellation, Toshimi Taki’s double star site may prove useful: Taki's Home Page


    Here’s to seeing double!
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    When I first started observing, when I was about 11, I learned about binary/multiple star systems. This was the final "hook" that got me to devote the rest of my life to astronomy. I spent the next several months looking at as many as I could through the worst telescope I could have ever had -- a true piece of junk. But it was ENOUGH to keep me going. So in a certain sense, it was binary stars that kept me in astronomy.

    Your mentioning of SFT and STT designations brought all that back. Ahhhhh, memories!

    And thanks ever so much for the Most Excellent resources! I haven't done binaries in a while, but I think I'll add that to my list of things to get back into.

    Thank you and Peace

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    Thanks to the poster for the great links, especially the link to the double stars of Struve ! This is the list every double star observer should not be without......

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    Great links - I have been working through Otto's excellent list for a little while - Double stars have the advantage of being lot kinder with sky conditions and light pollution issues
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