Identification of stars in a J1744.0 star catalogue Yixiangkaocheng




The stars in the Chinese star catalogue, Yixiangkaocheng, which were edited by the Jesuit astronomer Kögler in ad 1744 and published in ad 1756, are identified with their counterparts in the Hipparcos catalogue. The equinox of the catalogue is confirmed to be J1744.0. By considering the precession of equinox, proper motions and nutation, the star closest to the location of each star in Yixiangkaocheng, having a proper magnitude, is selected as the corresponding identified star. I identified 2848 stars and 13 nebulosities out of 3083 objects in Yixiangkaocheng, and so the identification rate reached 92.80 per cent. I find that the magnitude classification system in Yixiangkaocheng agrees with the modern magnitude system. The catalogue includes dim stars, whose visual magnitudes are larger than 7, but most of these stars have Flamsteed designations. I find that the stars whose declination is lower than −30° have relatively larger offsets and different systematic behaviour from other stars. This indicates that there might be two different sources of stars in Yixiangkaocheng. In particular, I find that μ1 Sco and γ1 Sgr approximately mark the boundary between two different source catalogues. The observer’s location, as estimated from these facts, agrees with the latitude of Greenwich where Flamsteed made his observations. The positional offsets between the Yixiangkaocheng stars and the Hipparcos stars are 0.6 arcmin, which implies that the source catalogue of stars with δ > −30° must have come from telescopic observations. Nebulosities in Yixiangkaocheng are identified with a few double stars, o Cet (the variable star, Mira), the Andromeda galaxy, ω Cen and NGC6231. These entities are associated with listings in Halley’s Catalogue of the Southern Stars of ad 1679 as well as Flamsteed’s catalogue of ad 1690.