Sky Atlas 2000.0, 2nd Field Laminated Version Spiral-bound – January 1, 1999
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The Tirion 2000, as us amateur astronomers refer to it, is an absolute must for anyone serious in learning the night sky and finding objects. I use a 10x50 and a 15x70 pair of binoculars, a 6 inch, f8 home made reflector and have forever been working on a 10 inch richfield (a work in progress). I do not use any computerized "go to" because I derive great satisfaction out of finding objects on my own. The Tirion 2000 is as detailed I need and more. I also use some smaller binocular guides and may print out a map from the computer while I am planning my observing session. I still use the three-volume Burnham's Celestial Handbook and, of course, the more recent two-volume Night Sky Observers Guide. I often bring that last one with me along with the Tirion 2000, which I always bring plus a big planesphere.
Amateur astronomers all learn about the night sky through different paths. Some use setting circles, some use star hopping (me), some use different atlases. Some just look through other's scopes to learn where objects are--and that's okay. Some just use binoculars which has a big following. I often do this myself. Some use "go to", not that there is anything wrong with that. One has to figure out what works best for them. What worked for me is as follows:
I decided to really get to know and use this atlas. To get the full benefit of the Tirion 2000, I drew in, with a thin black magic marker, the constellations on all of the maps, which I use in the Atlas. This really helps when I am in the field. Quite frankly, I don't know how else one could use this in the field at night. I then wrote, in pen, right on the maps short descriptions of all the messier objects, double/variable stars, etc. with arrows pointing to them referencing what best to use, i.e., binos or telescope. To further make life easier, I wrote in the margins, which map to go to if one wanted to travel further than the end of the individual map. Much of the information I copied from I think, "Night Watch", which is great. I also added tabs indicating the Messiers, etc. along the top so I could more quickly refer to them without having to look in the table of contents.
All I can say is, sooner or later, you're gonna get the Tirion 2000 Sky Atlas. I suggest, when you do, you really use it to its fullest.
however, my purpose is primarily to point out a regrettable omission. nearly all design aspects of this atlas -- the components that can justifiably be called "intellectual property" -- are mere imitations of the conventions beautifully innovated and exemplified in exquisite hand drafted charts in the Atlas Coeli Skalnate Pleso 1950.0 by Antonin Becvar and his many graduate students at the skalnate pleso observatory. the blue tinted milky way isophotes, the yellow green bright nebula, the red elliptical galaxies, the circular dotted yellow star clusters, the green circular planetary nebulae, the star magnitude binning, the concentric variable star magnitude markers, the choice of cartographic projections, the acetate overlay of coordinate grids, the delicately spaced coordinates printed over and double bordering printed around every chart, the stiff paper, even the large format -- all these things have been copied, in nearly every case precisely and without any alteration or improvement, by wil tirion.
presumably this is a perfectly legal business decision, perhaps even required by the publisher, because sky and telescope owns the copyrights to both the atlas becvar and the sky atlas 2000. and certainly i don't begrudge mr. tirion any credit for the labor required to pour computerized star data through computerized drafting equipment to produce an updated version. however i take it amiss that the imitation has been so thoroughgoing and yet does not make mere mention of the predecessor who was the true cartographic innovator. (see sky & telescope, november 1948.)
astronomers and academics seem indifferent to the credit that commercial success might bestow. and certainly mr. becvar is now dead and cannot complain of any mistreatment. to the living, one must ask why their memories have been so short, and their magnanimity so stinting.
Top international reviews
You need a star map - look no further than Sky Atlas 2000.0 - it has the lot!
This type of atlas is really for use on a desk for planning or checking rather than ouside at the eyepiece - it's just too big and paper does not cope with dew for long. I use laminated A4 maps of similar scale outside having planned from a map inside. The index charts could be better presented possibly as a loose sheet as well if like me you work from the constellations and star hop rather than use co ordinates. That's really my only gripe (and with Atlas Coeli - but I'm used to that by now!)
The overlay sheet stores quite neatly inside the atlas being thinner than the version supplied with Coeli that one needs a pocket making or it gets lost which this one shouldn't.
If you want to use it outside get the laminated version, but if you like looking over maps this is a nice set for your desk. If it's only for outside use remember you won't see the colours with a red light and it needs a desk, holding down in the wind and keeping dry.
Le prix que j'ai vu en occasion est une aberration. Il doit y avoir une erreur de virgule et le prix doit être en dollars.