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Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion: Descriptions and Data for All 2,700 Star Clusters, Nebulae, and Galaxies Shown in Sky Atlas 2000.0 Paperback – 1 Aug 2009
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Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion, 2nd Edition This essential astronomical reference features an alphabetical listing of every deep-sky object plotted in "Sky Atlas 2000.0, Second Edition." The main section describes each star cluster, nebula, and galaxy with cross-references to chart numbers, while a chart-by-chart listing provides coordinates, object types, constellations, and apparent magnitudes. Full description
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this book is designed to be used directly alongside the sky atlas; it's not a stand alone reference. one reviewer complained about the cross referencing system: this is based on the sky atlas 2000 labeling with an implicit preference ordering (explained in the introduction, page ix). thus, the same object is labeled NGC3587, M97, The Owl Nebula on chart 2 of the sky atlas, but you must look under "owl nebula" to find its entry in the companion -- proper names are given precedence over catalog numbers and, among catalogs, the messier number takes precedence over the NGC number. (caldwell numbers are not used in the sky atlas but are cross referenced to their NGC or other number in the companion.) the same reviewer complained that there was no named star list but this is already given in the sky atlas index, along with the messier list and a list of constellations. and while the book is not spiral bound and does not lie flat for pages near the front or back covers, spiral bindings often chafe, crimp or tear pages if you try to turn pages too quickly, which isn't very friendly in a lookup reference.
for me, the big lapse in this book is its failure to elucidate the catalogs referred to. what exactly does NGC, or C, or B, or Pal, or IC, J, E, vdB, UGC, SL, SH, Ru or PK refer to? who compiled the lists, and when, and why, and what objects do they contain, and how many? just "NGC" without a number would serve as the perfect place to insert a brief description of this huge list and how it was compiled from 18th and 19th century observations, and "IC" could explain why this supplemental catalog was necessary. the catalogs are not even identified in the bibliography: instead, bare denotations ("B is for Barnard") are buried in the text without further comment.