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MAST Spectral Classifications

There are currently 2 interfaces available from MAST that allow users to find objects by spectral class (i.e., the full spectral classification string) . The encoding method used to create these tables and perform the searches is described in this IVOA note. Note that blanks are removed from the spectral classification string stored in the tables described below, and from the users input, to simplify queries. Additional tips on how to use these search forms can be found here.
  • Spectral Classes of Like Stars - This table was created by cross-matching entries from the MAST "Table of Representative Spectra" with targets listed in the Skiff Spectral catalog, the Sky2000 catalog, and/or provided by Simbad. Spectra from IUE, STIS, FUSE, EUVE, HUT, GHRS, FOS, WUPPE, BEFS, and TUES are included. Most matches were based on target names and coordinates, usually with a 5" tolerance, but a few matches may be wrong. The table lists roughly 28,000 observations including novae and supernovae of which more than 22,000 have assigned spectral types. Links to ADS papers and Previews are included in the search results.

  • Skiff Spectral Catalog Search - Allows users to search the Skiff Spectral catalog (updated 23-Jan-2013), which is also available online from VizieR. The listed bibcodes are linked to the ADS, target names are links to the cross correlation search form, and the encoded values described in the IVOA note are included. The table currently contains roughly 605,000 entries and is regularly updated. Note the Skiff catalog does not include novae or supernovae.

The Spectral Classification Tables, taken from the IVOA note above, show how to perform a numerical encoding for common spectral classes. The encoding system was developed in cooperation with Richard Gray (Appalachian State University) and Chris Corbally (Vatican Observatory) whose book titled Stellar Spectral Classification is now available from Princeton University Press.

Richard Gray also created the Digital Spectral Classification Atlas which shows sample spectra for various class stars.