The designation stands for the brightest star's Henry Draper Catalogue
If you know only a star's HIP number, its Henry Draper Catalogue
(HD) number, or its celestial coordinates, you can easily find the other identifiers and much else about the star by going to the Hipparcos catalog search page or sky-plot page on the World Wide Web (see sidebar on page 44).
Some of the early photographic and visual catalog projects rivaled the Henry Draper Catalogue
of spectra in accuracy and scope and led directly to the discovery of the interstellar medium, the Cepheid period-luminosity relation, and precise maps of galactic structure.
The resulting Henry Draper Catalogue
(HD) and Henry Draper Extension (HDE), published beginning in 1918, remain standard references today.
The final product is known as the Henry Draper Catalogue
or simply the HD.