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The Observer's Sky Atlas: With 50 Star Charts Covering the Entire Sky Paperback – September 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0387485379 ISBN-10: 0387485376 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 3rd edition (September 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387485376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387485379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for the previous editions:
"the most informative little sky guide in the business."

"The more experienced observer will find this slim volume useful at the telescope and packed with interesting observing projects."

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is a nice compliment to The Observer's Sky Atlas.
R. Markham
Each list includes the best deep sky objects--Messier and otherwise, the best double stars, and the best variable stars.
Enchanted Tiki Room
I briefly looked through his and decided immediately that I "needed" one.
Michelle Stone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Tiburd on October 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Looks small and unimpressive, but WOW! By far the most useful single sky guide I've found. What makes it special? First, the trick of showing additional detail and fainter stars for only selected areas of the sky, along with full-sky coverage of brighter stars...if you use binoculars or a telescope to hunt down faint objects, you will see lots of faint stars too, and showing them on the charts is a big help to orient you. Second, the scaling of the charts and of the plotted stars is unusually well matched to what you actually see through binoculars or a telescope at low power, making it easy to match your eyepiece view to what the chart shows. (Indeed, I find it superior to either the Sky Atlas 2000.0 or Uranometria--much larger and more expensive charts--in that regard.) Third, the format of listing interesting objects with associated data on pages facing each map is very useful and convenient. Fourth, the inclusion of hundreds of NGC objects besides the full Messier list makes this a reference that a beginner will not soon outgrow, and a veteran will continue to find it useful through the years. Fifth, the information regarding the types of instruments needed to view each object (small binoculars, large binos, small scope, medium scope) is the most accurate and practical I've seen. Sixth, it's so portable you can take it out on every viewing session--it even fits into a binocular case. Downside? Only that so few dealers carry it! ...and you've found one here. Good work, Amazon.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Troy Riedel on March 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I shopped & researched long and hard before I bought a new star atlas. I paged through every one I could find, but I had never seen this one in-person. All of the glowing online reviews sold me - and I ordered it. Initially I was disappointed. However, the more I looked through it - and evaluated its contents - my opinion change for the positive.
It's handy & convenient (small sized & nice for use at the scope). It details stars to magnitude 6 (naked eye limit is 5.2 - 6.0). The book includes detailed insets on each chart detailing stars to magnitude 9 (a magnitude limit only found in the "big boy" atlases). And I found the data tables - opposite each page's chart - concise yet informative.
Drawbacks: sometimes it's too small (one cannot get a "regional feel"). Sometimes it's annoying that a constellation or "region" of the sky is split over two different charts (because the charts are organized in "sidereal time", e.g. Andromeda is Chart "N0" but Pegasus is chart "E23"; Ursa Major is chart "N8" and "N10").
Is there a perfect star atlas? Unfortunately, "No". But this little guide has a little of everything for the amateur astronomer. If you're comet hunting, well ... buy an atlas like the Herald-Bobroff . But for the armchair astronomer up to the amateur with an 4"-8" telescope, this little atlas fills a niche that wasn't completely filled before it came along. And when used with other aids in the field - like a good planisphere for that "regional feel" - it's extremely valuable.
Some of you very serious observers might need another, larger atlas for reference and/or desk use. However, you can't go wrong with this little book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Markham on August 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are two small atlases I consider to be absolutely indispensable. The Observer's Sky Atlas is one of them. The unique feature of The Observer's Sky Atlas is the insets on each chart that provides additional detail in the vicinity of many of the most commonly sought after objects. In this way, Karkoschka has been able to plot stars down to magnitude 9 for those areas of the sky you are most likely to be targeting. This feature has allowed me to more easily zero in on an object where my other favorite field atlas, (see below), sometimes provided too few stars to pinpoint exactly where I was as I tried to narrow in on a tiny section of dark sky.

When opening the book, each chart is printed on a right hand page. Each chart covers a nice area of the sky and includes stick figures of the constellations to help get your bearings. Then, as mentioned above, key areas within the chart are further detailed with the insets. The charts are not in color, so some may not see them as pretty as in other books, but there is a nice elegance to them nonetheless. The charts are easy to find using the all sky view key to charts at the back of the book, (which oddly is in color).

Data for the objects on each chart are printed on the facing left hand page. This is a very nice feature that I particularly like. Information includes such things as a star's apparent and absolute magnitude, it's B-V index, its distance and its coordinates. For binary stars there is information on their separation and their variability. For nebula and galaxies there is additional information on size, shape, and distance. There are even short descriptions of how objects appear through a telescope or binoculars.
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