At this time, STARBASE is used to perform two different tasks, namely reading primary and secondary catalogs, and computing astrophysical quantities from the collected information. The data is stored in different fields of a table, STARTABLE (see next section).

Primary catalogs reside in subdirectories of catalogs and are read by the C-function catalog. Stars in the primary catalogs have unique ID numbers. Entries are in the order of these numbers. Information found in the primary catalogs replaces existing information in STARTABLE. The available data for each primary catalog is listed below.

Secondary catalogs are lists of specific data on stars, e.g. UBV photometry. They were derived from various astronomical catalogs by extracting the ID number (usually the HDN) and the desired data. Secondary catalogs reside in catalogs/npoi and have an extension indicating the identifier for the ID numbers (e.g. HDN). They are read by PV-WAVE procedures (command dc_read_free), and are used to replace information in STARTABLE.

Any star in STARTABLE is defined through a string of format CCCNNNNNN or CCCNNNN, where CCC indicates the primary catalog and NNNNNN/NNNN the ID number in that catalog. Valid catalog identifiers are FKV, BSC, FLN, BAT, SAO, HDN, and HIC. Please use 4 digits numbers NNNN for the small catalogs FKV, BSC, FLN, and BAT. Use 6 digit numbers NNNNNN for the large catalogs SAO, HDN, and HIC.