- Spiral-bound: 95 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (March 7, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521173639
- ISBN-13: 978-1858059006
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 11.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cambridge Star Atlas 4th Edition
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Squarely aimed at casual observers, this lovely atlas will also be a useful resource for teachers. Tirion, the author of the highly regarded Sky Atlas 2000.0 and Uranometria 2000.0, has revised the 1991 edition of the atlas, adding a basic lunar map and guidelines for lunar observation. Information for viewing the sun, planets, or asteroids is not provided. The rest of the material is divided into three sections: monthly sky maps for the northern and southern hemispheres, star charts, and all-sky maps. Each section includes a concise explanation of the astronomy necessary for understanding the maps. Simple instructions are provided for using the monthly maps. These maps, printed in white and yellow on blue, are designed for field use. Charts plot all stars visible to the naked eye in a dark sky. Other objects are selected based on interest and available space. These provide a reasonable survey of galaxies, nebulae, and clusters and include objects only visible with binoculars or small telescopes. There are no detailed descriptions of objects and no distances given, even for selected objects. The all-sky maps use galactic coordinates to show the correlations of various types of clusters, nebulae, and galaxies with the Milky Way's galactic plane. They are particularly delightful because they plainly show which of these objects are galactic in origin and which are extragalactic. All the maps, especially the star charts, are beautifully prepared. Physical quality is also high, and the book is a bargain at $19.95. Strongly recommended for public, high-school, and undergraduate academic libraries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Every backyard astronomer needs a sixth-magnitude star atlas. Many subtle improvements have elevated this atlas to must-have status. Tirion is the practical star-atlas master ... Unqualified highest rating: a full five out of five stars"- Terence Dickinson, SkyNews magazine
"an excellent expansion of his previous works...this new edition will be useful to the amateur stargazer. An easy-to-use, readable resource for students and amateurs. Highly recommended." - CHOICE
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Since I feel the cons out weigh the pros in this case I will list them first.
Cons: Although I like the way the charts are organized and the paper stock to be what I expected, I was surprised at the low quality of printing. When compared to the much smaller format Sky & Telescope Pocket Star Atlas the lower quality of the Cambridge Atlas becomes sadly apparent. Further the introductory Seasonal Sky Maps and Messier Object Charts are printed on blue backgrounds that show up as black under an observers red flashlight when using the charts in the field, thereby rendering them almost useless unless you consult them prior to your observing session.
Pros: As I mentioned above, the organization of the charts by Right Ascension and Declination is good. The Stars are plotted down to magnitude 6.5, which is more than sufficient for visual use when trying to orient yourself in the sky. The spiral-bound book opens and lays flat so you can easily lay it out on a observation table freeing both hands for flashlight, binoculars, etc. It even folds completely over reasonably well without damage to the spiral binding.
Wish list: I would have liked to see the brighter stars (mag. 2.0 or brighter) listed by their names in each chart's index along with all of the other listings, but I guess there is only so much room on a page. Lacking that, bold type for the names within the sky chart itself would have been nice. It would make it so much easier to find these important stars as they are used for the alignment of modern computerized GoTo telescopes when setting up for a pleasant observing evening under the stars.
I'll put in a point by point comparison, including a short tutorial on the twenty words of German useful to know, under the Amazon entry for Reiseatlas later.
If you have a larger telescope, from 6" to 8", then avoid this one. It falls short of the other Cambridge star atlas suite that has more detail and fainter stars.