The Cobe DIRBE Point Source Catalog

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We present the COBE DIRBE Point Source Catalog, an all-sky catalog containing infrared photometry in 10 infrared bands from 1.25 to 240 μm for 11,788 of the brightest near and mid-infrared point sources in the sky. Since DIRBE had excellent temporal coverage (100-1900 independent measurements per object during the 10 month cryogenic mission), the Catalog also contains information about variability at each wavelength, including amplitudes of variation observed during the mission. Since the DIRBE spatial resolution is relatively poor (0°.7), we have carefully investigated the question of confusion and have flagged sources with infrared-bright companions within the DIRBE beam. In addition, we filtered the DIRBE light curves, for data points affected by companions outside of the main DIRBE beam but within the "sky" portion of the scan. At high Galactic latitudes (|b| > 5°), the Catalog contains essentially all of the unconfused sources with flux densities greater than 90, 60, 60, 50, 90, and 165 Jy at 1.25, 2.2, 3.5, 4.9, 12, and 25 μm, respectively, corresponding to magnitude limits of approximately 3.1, 2.6, 1.7, 1.3, -1.3, and -3.5. At longer wavelengths and in the Galactic plane, the completeness is less certain because of the large DIRBE beam and possible contributions from extended emission. The Catalog also contains the names of the sources in other catalogs, their spectral types, variability types, and whether or not the sources are known OH/IR stars. We discuss a few remarkable objects in the Catalog, including the extremely red object OH 231.8+4.2 (QX Pup), an asymptotic giant branch star in transition to a protoplanetary nebula, which has a DIRBE 25 μm amplitude of 0.29 ± 0.07 mag.