Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook: And Reference Handbook, 20th Edition 20th Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
Generations of amateur astronomers have called it simply Norton's: the most famous star atlas in the world. Now in a superbly redesigned, two-color landmark 20th edition, the first of a new century, this combination star atlas and reference work has no match in the field.
First published in 1910, coinciding with the first of two appearances by Halley's Comet during the book's life, Norton's owes much of its legendary success to its unique maps, arranged in slices known as gores, each covering approximately one-fifth of the sky. Every star visible to the naked eye under the clearest skies—down to magnitude 6.5—is charted along with star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Extensive tables of data on interesting objects for observation accompany each of the precision drawn maps. Preceding the maps is the unique and authoritative reference handbook covering timekeeping and positional measurements on the celestial sphere; the Sun, Moon and other bodies of the Solar System; telescopes and other equipment for observing and imaging the sky; and stars, nebulae and galaxies. Throughout, succinct fundamental principles and practical tips guide the reader into the night sky. The appendices Units and Notation, Astronomical Constants, Symbols and Abbreviations, and Useful Addresses complete what has long been the only essential reference for the stargazer.
Now presented more accessibly than ever before, the text and tables of the 20th edition have been revised and updated to take account of the new and exciting developments in our observation of the cosmos. The redesignedstar maps offer outstanding legibility, in the living room or under a red light in the dark outdoors.
Presented with an authority that has stood for generations, Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook remains the indispensable companion for all who gaze at the night sky. For use with your first pair of binoculars, in choosing your first telescope, and as a trustworthy companion no matter how far your interest takes you, this elegant edition launches Norton's into a new century as the classic reference in astronomy.
Praise for the landmark 20th edition of the classic star atlas
"Once in a blue moon a book appears to dramatically and forever change its subject; in short, the work becomes an indispensable resource for generations. Norton's Star Atlas is such a work."
—Leif J. Robinson, Editor Emeritus,Sky & Telescope (from the Foreword)
"The new edition of Norton's Star Atlas should be a real winner: once again, the amateur astronomer's indispensable companion."
—Stephen P. Maran, author ofAstronomy for Dummies, and editor ofThe Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia
"This beautiful edition is a superb redesign and authoritative update of the classic star atlas."
—Greg Laughlin, Astronomy Department,University of California, Santa Cruz,co-author of The Five Ages of the Universe
"The unique and time-honored projection used in the Norton's star charts is particularly handy and has always been my favorite."
—Owen Gingerich, Harvard-SmithsonianCenter for Astrophysics,author of The Eye of Heaven
"Ian Ridpath is one of the most dedicated and prolific writers on astronomy. His works all have clarity and authority, and he is ideally suited to infuse new life into a classic."
—Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal,University of Cambridge,author of Our Final Hour
"The 20th edition is a great event. Pi Press is republishing this book with such style. It may not help people to find new stars, but it will remind them of how we came to know so much."
—Sir John Maddox, Editor Emeritus Nature,author of What Remains To Be Discovered
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And as someone else pointed out, the reference material interleaved between the sky charts, though not exhaustive, is very useful. I use Norton's constantly along with the Sky Atlas 2000 and Burnham's Celestial Handbook (and websites to update Burnham's data), and the combination of the three is perfect for most of my own observing. I have dozens of other books on my shelves but these are the ones I rely on.
For teaching astronomy I substitute the Audubon Field Guide to the Night Sky for the Sky Atlas and Burnham's, and my students love it because Norton's helps them find their way around the sky and the Field Guide description of the constellations tells them about what they see. If I were stranded on a desert island (hope, hope) and couldn't take my beloved and well-annotated Sky Atlas 2000 and Burnham's, I'd take Norton's and the Audubon Field Guide as a very good substitute. I always recommend Norton's, the Audubon Field Guide, and binoculars to beginners--the Sky Atlas 2000, Burnham's, and a telescope can come later (or sooner, for the passionate).
- good star atlas
- amateur astronomy handbook
in very compact format.
With widespread of Dobsonian reflector, deep sky objects like clusters, nebulae and galaxies are the center of interestes, but they are not so impressive with small refractors.
This book is mostly targeted toward solar system objects, double star and variable stars which are good objects for small telesopes.
So, this book is not good for owners of Dobsonian reflectors, but especially well suited for owners of small refractors.