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The Cambridge Double Star Atlas 2nd Edition
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"This comprehensive update of a popular star atlas amongst the double star community is to be welcomed. The catalogue has also been extensively and logically revised with more accessibility for the amateur telescope as the guiding theme."
R. W. Argyle, Director, Webb Society Double Star Section, and author of Observing and Measuring Visual Double Stars
"The Cambridge Double Star Atlas has long been a valuable resource to double star observers. This second edition has a much more detailed introduction describing binary stars, their orbits and properties, observing tools, and techniques. The double star target list has been expanded to include more information about each double star such as position angle, spectral types, and distances. Even if you already have the first edition, this second edition is a worthwhile upgrade."
R. Kent Clark, Editor, Journal of Double Star Observations
The first and only atlas of physical double stars that can be viewed with amateur astronomical instruments. Completely rewritten, this new edition explains the latest research into double stars, and looks at the equipment, techniques and opportunities that will enable you to discover, observe and measure them. An essential reference for double star observers.
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Top Customer Reviews
He also complains about the "cluttered" target list. Cluttered is in the eye of the beholder, but the second edition target list contains much more information. In addition to all the information given in the first edition it also includes a description of all the components of each target (not just those visible in amateur telescopes), spectral type(s), distance (from us), HD and SAO numbers. For many stars there are comments on history, orbits, masses, little known multiplicity, and other interesting tidbits. The HD and SAO numbers are a boon to users of go-to mounts, and they will also make it easier to search on-line databases.
In the first edition, the target list was organized by RA. In the second edition the list is organized by constellation, then by RA within each constellation. For me this is a major improvement since it is more consistent with the way I think most amateur double star observers operate.
Compared to the first edition, the introduction contains much more information on the physical properties of binaries- types, mass, orbits, stellar evolution, etc. The bibliography is more extensive and also includes many on-line resources which were not included in the first addition.
Overall, I believe the second edition is significant improvement. I expect is will become an important part of the libraries of most serious double stars nuts.
First, the star charts are smaller and printed in lighter ink. It is much more difficult to read than the first edition.
Many great doubles are left out. Just browsing the pages for the first time I noticed several bright/easy double stars are unlabeled that are labeled in the first edition. Leaving out good doubles is inexcusable. Just reading the first paragraph of the introduction about how they deleted over 800 doubles from the first edition made me cringe. I'm sure there are numerous errors and omissions that I will soon find.
The target list in the back is a big cluttered mess. The first edition had it's problems in this area too, but at least the list was easy to read. I'm not sure what Cambridge was thinking when they printed this. The second edition is hardly an improvement, if fact it is a big downgrade in my opinion.
Not recommended at all. Seek out the first edition, despite its problems.
Insofar as astronomy texts have historically referred to double stars as either physical or optical - and the first edition of this work included the latter - the title of this new edition, which makes a fundamental change in content by dropping hundreds of the latter - should properly be "The Cambridge Binary Star Atlas".
Optical pairs, some quite beautiful, are unrecognized in this edition. Amateur observers, whose appreciation of the sky is not solely limited to the physical properties of what they view, but also their aesthetics, have observed both physical and optical pairs under the rubric of "double stars". Amateur astronomers should give a bit of thought to what they expect in a "double star" atlas before purchasing this.