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Double Stars for Small Telescopes: More Than 2,100 Stellar Gems for Backyard Observers (Stargazing Series) Paperback – May 1, 2007
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More than 2,100 of the sky's most alluring double and multiple stars are listed with coordinates, magnitudes, colors, and informative commentaries. Make it an essential part of your astronomy library.
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Until now, my binary star references have been the old and out-dated catalogues of Smyth, Burnham, Webb, and epoch 1950 Astro-Cards. Now I have a fresh and new reference catalogue that is also easy to use at the eyepiece. My new GOTO technology refractor allows me to simply key-in the listed R.A. and Dec. of every binary star listed. Voila! Now I can methodically study each constellation in great detail, ferreting out its best binaries. I have already used Double Stars for Small Telescopes several times during my recent observing sessions as the final arbiter for visual expectations at the eyepiece.
The comments section describes up-to-date observations from several regular and experienced observers ("her gang of seven"), with references to apertures, magnifications, new separations and position angles. Ms. Haas also pays homage to Messrs. Smyth, Herschel, Burnham, Webb, et al, by including their personal visual impressions and historical remarks. A previous reviewer complained that no epoch for the catalogue was mentioned. Quite the contrary, the epoch for each star is listed as the year of its latest observation for her catalogue. With the new measures it is an invaluable aid in researching revolution periods, and makes my old binary star library even more valuable.
Whether your interest in binary stars is casual or passionate, this book is invaluable. I may order a second. One kept for field use, and a pristine copy for my personal astronomy library shelf. It is that valuable of an edition.
My most grateful and humble compliments to Ms. Haas for her many contributions to amateur astronomy.
Addendum: July 2014
This exceptional edition now accompanies me on every observation session along with the Messier Album (Mallas & Kreimer) and Tirion's Atlas 2000. The catalogue is always "well thumbed" during every observing session. My recent observing partner and new to astronomy has unexpectedly become intrigued by binaries. Our observing sessions often include spirited competitions to split troublesome binaries.
Better to get the tabular data online for free.