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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st choice for by-the-scope reference; 2nd ed. improved, 6 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
I agree with R.A. Pollock's review (the first person to review this book and truly worth reading) but would add a few comments:
1) As far as the increase in size over the 1st edition it is less than perceived. This new book is 3/4" taller and only 3/8" wider (I have both copies in hand). But I know what Pollack means...it is just a tad larger and that may mean it doesn't fit in the same old shirt pocket it used to! My first edition was an *incredible* constant companion; it was with me as I lived around the world for three years. It was SO nice to have an atlas that wasn't guilty of Northern Hemispherism. :o)
2) One of the improvements Pollock overlooked was that the new edition's reference map in the back has the constellations outlined in green rather than red. In the first edition all the constellations disappeared under a red light!! For the uninformed, astronomers or just star gazers often use red lights to preserve night vision. Anything printed in red is...gone! The ecliptic is still red in the new edition but I can live with that.
3) The reference chart is also larger and that is helpful for those of us who are getting older and have less flexible eyeballs.
4) One drawback (and I consider it a moderately significant one) is that there are not longer polar reference charts. These were extremely useful in the 1st edition. It is VERY intuitive to think of and view the sky as a dome with a center point. The 2nd edition reference maps are only "flat", i.e., linear so there is a great deal of distortion at the poles. Think of a map of the world and how Greenland and Antartica look huge...but they aren't. Anyway, it bugs me. I'm copying the old polar page from the old edition and pasting it in the new.
5) Final Tip (and this is a GOOD ONE): Go to Kinko's and have them trim a very little bit of the spine off the book so it becomes loose leaf - THEN have them spiral wire bind it. It is wonderful! You can open the book fully flat or even fold it back on itself with ease. I've done this with several of my smaller/thinner paperback reference books and it makes them so, SO much more easier to use. The original glued bindings make it difficult to open these books to get at the information near the crease. And in cold weather or with much use they crack and pages come loose. And the glued bindings don't open flat; they are constantly springing shut. The one caution is to trim the *least* amount possible from the spine - enough to get all the glued portion off but not so much as to loose information. Try it. It is really worth it.
Buy this book! It takes a while to get accustom to it but once you do you'll love it. I would rate it the number one guide for star gazing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very handy field book for the non-novice, 24 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
I looked forward very much to getting this book. I had a copy of the first edition and lost it on a trip to Chile. Among the several atlases I own, I found this one to be the most convenient for general observing. When I received the new edition, I was at first, disappointed. The older edition was printed on glossy paper that resisted moisture very well while using it in the field and the new version is not. Nevertheless, it is still printed on good paper and may hold up well. Time will tell. One of the other things I liked so much about the older version was the pocket size, and the new edition is about an inch larger in both directions. Again, it is still more handy than a hardbound book like the "Cambridge" or "Norton" atlases. Neither is it so thick that it is difficult to hold open like the "Peterson's" guides.
After examining the contents I saw that the added size was put to good advantage. The same basic charts are there from the first edition, but just a little larger in scale. And now there is quite a bit more information packed on the opposing pages that describe the objects to be viewed. Binary or multiple stars with significant relative motions are plotted so that you can see how the relationship will change over the next 20 years. A visual plot is given of the position angle of these stars rather than just a number. Little thermometers indicate the relative temperatures of each component to give an idea of the color difference to be expected. For regular variable stars a small waveform is often included that describes the period and change in brightness of the star. A set of symbols is now used to describe the ease of visibility of objects and objects with low surface brightness are noted using the same symbols. Several other columns have been added that are to assist in finding an object on the adjacent chart and to identify its magnitude. Although I did not find these particularly useful, others may.
At the beginning of the book there is a chart that I do not remember from the first edition that describes how natural and man-made light pollution affects the view of objects and shows how many objects can be seen under what conditions. All together the books positive changes balance the negative ones nicely. It will still be my first choice at the telescope. One negative that might exist for users new to the sky is that now there may be too much information on each page. I do not think that will be a problem for most. Thanks for the new edition!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another one for a Astro buff, 29 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Observer's Sky Atlas: With 50 Star Charts Covering the Entire Sky (Paperback)
Wherever you may live in this world, this book will give you a place to look up in the sky. Most star gazing books are for those living in the Northern latitudes. This book doesn't suffer from that fatal flaw.

Along with Sky and Telescopes mini Sky Atlas, this is the other book I use to plan my sessions or figure out what I am seeing in the sky.

It's well organised, and it's easy to find an object within the book in multiple ways, and shows you objects by where they are in the sky. It's very useful the way it's organised and I recommend wholeheartedly and enough detail to keep most Amateur Astronomers busy and informed at the same time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An essential pocket sky atlas, 20 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Observer's Sky Atlas: With 50 Star Charts Covering the Entire Sky (Paperback)
The book is an updated version of an earlier version which I have been using for several years. The new version is a very useful aid for observing with a small telescope and binoculars. The book can be used outside because the pages are weather resistant
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