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Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas Spiral-bound – 30 Mar 2006
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Our celestial atlases are the standard by which all others have been judged for a half century. Now we?ve raised the bar with our new Pocket Sky Atlas! There has never been such a wonderfully detailed atlas so handy to take on trips and use at the telescope, thanks to its compact size, convenient spiral-bound design, and easy-to read labels. The 80 charts contain more than 30,000 stars to magnitude 7.6 and some 1,500 deep-sky objects (including 675 galaxies to magnitude 11.5). The best double stars are named, and three dozen red (carbon) stars are marked. The charts show constellation boundaries and stick figures to help you find your way. In the back are close-up charts of the Orion Nebula region, Pleiades, Virgo Galaxy Cluster, and Large Magellanic Cloud. Available in February 2006. 110 pages, 6 by 9 inches, spiral bound, softcover.
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Top Customer Reviews
The atlas includes 80 main charts, plus 4 close-up charts covering the following regions of interest: the Pleiades, Orion's Sword, the Virgo Galaxy Cluster (essential!), and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Stars down to maginitude 7.6 are displayed on 80 main charts. The pages are in colour with significant objects easy to find. Arrows indicate the page number of the next page to check on the sky to the north/east/south/west which makes navigating across the sky simple. I am very pleased with this atlas and I am certain it will help improve my knowledge of the constellations. It is not as detailed as some of the more complex atlases but it is more than adequate for most casual users.
Since I got my copy I find I use it all the time and not just to find the objects shown on the maps. It is also hugely useful for locating the fainter planets Uranus and Neptune, and other faint solar system objects moving against the stellar background. I'm just a hobby astronomer using my telescope in the back garden but this is an immensely useful book and I wouldn't want to be without it. At the Amazon price it has to be an astronomical bargain.
Combined with the fact that each chart is a non searchable poor quality image just adds to the frustration. When you enlarge a chart it actually becomes less legible and the jpeg artefacts show up making it difficult to work out if there is a line through a star indicating that it's a double.
The 'Look Inside' feature actually shows the poor graphics in fairness but I naturally assumed that when I handed over my cash a lovely clear representation of the printed version would be on view, but alas, no ... just so lodges and blurs.
This is how the navigation goes:
You find an object in the index, it gives you the Chart number, but without coordinates as to where on the chart to find it and not even a direct link to the chart. You are instead expected to battle with a meaningless 'location' at the bottom of the page in the Kindle info and guess which page that location is going to take you ... eh? What's all that about?
When is this actually going to reach the digital age? I am seriously not impressed. This kindle edition is a complete let down with regards to the effort put into the publication itself.
The Kindle edition is way over priced at £6 plus, and because of the lack of coordinate references I suspect I will be saving money on the printed version.
My advice: save your money!
I am only giving this 2 stars.
If I had the hardback it would be 5 stars.
Why o why do the kindle editions come out so poorly?
The star charts are hard to read and you cannot expand (at least not on my Samsung tablet) to read them.
So do not download the kindle edition until they make some changes to make it readable.
If it had a few notes of interest about the best objects on each page it would be even better and gone up to 5 stars in my rating. Even so this atlas now comes with me on every observing session and I have bought a second copy just to make sure! Make certain you have a red torch to go with it.
This is looking to be a great aid to DSO hunting. Lots of spiral-bound pages, each a bit bigger than A5, and packed with detail of a patch of sky, showing stars, constellations, and DSOs with handy colour-coding. Nebulae for example are well outlined, although I don't expect to see their full extents!
Not only that, but there is a comprehensive index, divided by type of object, then sub-divided by catalogue (M, C, IC, NGC, etc.).
Really looking forward to using this atlas, and I too would now recommend it to anyone who has not yet acquired one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice atlas but not as good as the Cambridge Double Star in my opinion.Published 12 months ago by Alan potts
Practical guide to the night sky, and easy to use for viewing.Published 14 months ago by C. J. Green
My favorite star atlas so far. If only this book were published when I were a lad.
Shame its missing The Turtle &The 4 Elephants...Discworld.
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