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39
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Cambridge Star Atlas
Format: Spiral-boundChange
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2002
The main star charts in this volume are quite superb - even better than those in Norton. What's more, unlike Norton, the book is reasonably priced and printed on paper of acceptable quality (although this could be improved still further, at least for those sheets on which the main charts are printed).
The lists of interesting objects are also first-rate.
My only criticism is that I think rather too much space has been given over to the monthly maps, which I personally do not find particularly useful.
Nevertheless, I have awarded this volume the highest rating, because I find it hard to imagine that the main charts and observing lists can be bettered, and these are of course the real 'meat' of the book. It is worth the price for these alone.
Overall, this is probably the most practical star atlas you can buy. Ideal for naked-eye observers or users of binoculars or small telescopes.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2001
Let me first say ... that I used this Atlas belonging to someone else before buying my own. Yes, Norton's great ... as are other publications, but Tirion has out-done himeself. Very well presented, accurate and designed for both novice and intermediate observer. Small enough to take with you, but still large enough to present a mature view of the night sky. Many would say, " the fainter magnitudes are not displayed". Well, yes, you are right ... but this publication is designed for the casual, or novice observer and serves it's purpose well. As an experienced observer ... and someone who has really used various sky maps .. this one is tops!
I suppose that I am used to using the Sky Atlas 2000 ( Field Edition ) .. which again is superb. Highly recommended, well priced and will be used over and over.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2011
As someone who has recently taken to stargazing and trying to find a suitable 'guide book' to the night sky proved to be very difficult as there are so many 'atlas' out there, I settled on this one as it had so many good reviews, and I have to say they were right.

There isn't too much text, which is a bonus, and mainly focuses on the charts. The colour charts are amazing, clear and full of detail and done in such a way that anyone can pick it up and view them. My particular favourite is the detailed map of the moon naming all of the craters.

If you are more than just an amateur or are using a more than standard telescope than perhaps this book does not do enough detail however, for a beginner it is fantastic.

As a note, the book is spiral bound so that it can be folded back for easy viewing when outside. It is also not over 'thick', probably adding to the benefit of carrying it around outside.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2012
I just received mine today in the post and this product is fantastic! I did an enormous amount of shopping around as I am more than just a beginner in astronomy but was really struggling to get the look in the charts I was looking for. Ther also was a lack of photos on the Internet of an example star chart page so it was a little bit of a guess to go for this atlas. One thing I really wanted was to have the constellation dots joined up with a faint line. I thought I had read that this atlas didn't do that but it most certainly does in this edition.

Another real bonus is to see the large nebula and other dso's actually to scale. This will make it easier for me to spot faint objects (as I missed andromeda by thinking it was smaller than it was). Ring binding is great and if course the stats that accompany each chart are what I was after. For instance the Messier index includes the magnitudes of all the objects which is handy. Good use of colors on the chats so you intuitively know if objects are clusters, nebula, etc.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I love this book. As a doorstep astronomer this is probably the highest level of detail I need and, as usual, Wil Tirion has come up trumps. His diagrams are excellent and the book is a valuable addition to my small library. I bought it when I upgraded to a Meade telescope. Wanting more detail than I could find in the average astronomy paperback, I wasn’t disappointed. Stars down to a magnitude of 6.5 are shown, which may not suit some users, but to me it’s quite enough. The clarity of Tirion’s work is renowned and this book is another great example.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
Excellent tool for your stargazing nights. Easy to plot your way around the night sky without missing all the interesting things to look at in a particular area. I use it to study astronomy as well by using the seasonal sky maps and just dealing with the current areas of sky for that month only. My main observing instrument for stars is my 100mm binoculars which is perfect with this atlas. On those occasions when the planets are favavourable I use my 120mm APO refractor. The atlas is perfect for my needs all I want to study the sky. Excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2012
This Star Atlas is fantastic. I have been using a pocket-sized star guide for the past few years but I've found that the black stars on a blue background is very difficult to see even in normal light. This atlas, on the other hand, is extremely easy to use. The stars themselves are shown in black upon a light background so they are very easy to see. The star charts are shown in full colour on an A4 size page along with an accompanying page of what can be found in the constellation itself. The atlas is broken down in to several chapters describing the moon, stars and well as Messier objects (listed numerically, so if you want you can observe them and tick them off as you go). There are several excellent diagrams of the moon, some are shown in reverse as if you are looking through an actual telescope, very handy indeed!. I am extremely pleased that I have purchased this atlas, it's become an essential part of my amateur astronomy kit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2011
Ever since I was a child I have loved maps, whether OS maps of The Lakes, or a large-scale map of the Amazon basin. When young I even had a map of the Moon, which I found equally fascinating. I put this Cambridge Star Atlas in the same category: it is almost as interesting to sit at home pondering the nebulae around the Southern Cross as it is to observe the real thing (or, if you don't want to travel so far, around Cygnus). The maps are of superb quality, Wil Tirion being "the World's foremost designer of astronomical maps", and show stars (down to mag 6.5) and nebulae, clusters and galaxies (drawn to scale where greater than 30 arcmin). The mag limit of 6.5 is around the naked eye limit so binoculars and telescopes - and even a camera with ordinary lens - will reveal much fainter objects. I would argue, however, that mag 6.5 is adequate for most observers and is a practical compromise as larger scale charts start to become expensive.

There is a useful overlap between charts but you should be aware that clusters etc shown on the map are only described when they fall within the defined confines of that chart, ie if they are towards the edge you will have to refer to a different chart to get the information. This can be a bit of a pain if your constellation of interest stretches over the boundary.

There are also seasonal maps and maps of the Moon, orientated to both naked eye/binocular and telescope viewing. (But it's the star charts that I like.)

I am reluctant to take my atlas outside with me so the best plan is probably to laminate a copy of the area of sky you plan to explore (for your personal use only, of course).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2013
Ideal for everyone who wants to find his/her way around the skies, amateurs and professionals alike. I would have given it 5 stars but for the high price which will keep it out of the hands of younger amateur astronomers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2012
This star atalas has become an almost indispensable part of my kit in the last 12 months. The individual charts are at a large enough scale that you can visually scan great chunks of the sky to get your bearings and match what you've seen to the information on the page. The charts are then sufficiently detailed to give a range of targets.

If you want to take your telescope/binoculars beyond 'Ooh look at the moon' and 'which is the red one in Orion' and get a feel for the whole sky then I'd recommend this atlas. I'll typically work out a list of ideas for the next few weeks (on the computer) and then simply pop out when the clear nights arrive, open the atlas and start tracking stuff down. I've now wiled away many an evening star-hopping with these charts in my back yard.

The spiral binding is excellent, I've not had any problem with damp pages and I haven't even looked at buying any other companions to support direct observation. The charts are limited in that they don't go beyond a certain magnitude - the payoff is the clarity of what is there. For deeper / more detailed views and star hopping plans I'd switch to computer generated mapping, but there's plenty to get interested in and understand before going down that route.
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