- Paperback: 165 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 3rd edition (September 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387485376
- ISBN-13: 978-0387485379
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Observer's Sky Atlas: With 50 Star Charts Covering the Entire Sky 3rd Edition
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Praise for the previous editions:
"the most informative little sky guide in the business."
"The more experienced observer will find this slim volume useful at the telescope and packed with interesting observing projects."
SKY & TELESCOPE
From the Back Cover
The Observer's Sky Atlas contains star charts and information for all those who observe the night sky with unaided eyes, with binoculars, or with small telescopes, and also for those who just wish to look at constellations and interesting objects. Equally useful for the beginning observer and the old hand, the atlas presents:
- A short introduction into observing the sky and a thorough description of the star charts and tables
- Clearly arranged charts of all the stars (to 6th magnitude) visible with the unaided eye
- Enlarged chart sections (to 9th magnitude) for binocular observation, highlighting 250 interesting nebulae, galaxies, and stellar clusters
This new third edition features:
- 32 additional pages with images of all the 250 nebulae covered in the atlas
- An updated calendar for the next 20 years
- Double star ephemerides from 2005-2020, including updated tables accompanying star charts
- Predictions for dates and times of variable star minima/maxima based on recent observations
The Observer's Sky Atlas is an indispensable and handy companion for every observer and has already appeared in four languages.
Some praise for previous editions:
"...The most informative little sky guide in the business." -Astronomy
"The more experienced observer will find this slim volume useful at the telescope and...packed with interesting observing projects." -Sky & Telescope
Top customer reviews
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Unfortunately, the paperback copy of this book that I received from Amazon had several substantial errors, although both my copy and the library copy state they are the Third Edition. (I did notice the library copy states "Printed in the United States of America" on the very last page, while my copy from Amazon says "Lightning Source UK Ltd, Milton Keynes UK".)
Substantial errors I've noticed in my copy from Amazon: 1) The "Key to the Star Charts", which is supposed to be on pages 164-165, is missing -- these pages are blank in my version (they are present in the library version as color charts), and without this key it is much less convenient to use the book. 2) The charts for E1 on page 53 are incorrect, as they are just a duplicate of the charts for E2 on page 55, which is extremely annoying (the E1 charts are correct in the library version). 3) The NP chart on page 23 has a mixture of German and English,and part of the Stellar Diameters chart and the finder charts are obscured by the English (also not a problem in the library copy which only has English).
In addition, while the library copy was printed on glossy paper, the Amazon version is printed on non-glossy paper, and the general quality of the printing seems less sharp, has less contrast, and some annoying white stripes in the photos at the end on the book. The printing is not so bad as to be unusable, just noticeable worse than in the library copy, especially on the star charts and photos. The type also seems to be slightly smaller in the Amazon copy, making it a little less easy to read.
Also, it would be nice if the book were spiral-bound, so that it would lie flat and be easier to use while observing (though I knew this in advance, the library copy was also a standard paperback binding).
All in all, this is still an extremely useful little book, and luckily I'll be able to make photo copies of the missing pages from the library copy, so that my copy will be complete. Hopefully these errors will be corrected in future printings!
For observing with large binos and 4-5 inch telescopes, the level of detail on the inset maps is exactly right for star hopping, and I appreciate the extra information provided on whether I'm likely to see an object (which of course also depends on sky conditions). This book is the first one I grab when I'm out in the field. My observing buddies think I have some sort of secret power because I can find things so fast - but that's just down to how easy the maps in this book are to use.
There is one wish I have for this book: Please publish a spiral-bound edition (preferably laminated) as that would make it an even better field guide!
It turns out that what I had in the way of a star atlas was not terribly suited for my new endeavor. My atlases are all geared for deep space observing with big reflectors. They are well worn and tattered and I know from experience that although I have loved them to death, I will learn to hate them if I attempt an observing program with an 80mm telescope.
So..... during the past few weeks, I've been looking for the perfect reference material. A friend of mine turned me on to "The Observer's Sky Atlas" by E. Karkoschka. I briefly looked through his and decided immediately that I "needed" one. I've used many of the other atlases geared towards small telescpes but I've decided that this one will be my new companion over the next few months.
My grab and go observing will be just that... grab and go. I wanted a volume that fits that bill. The atlas is a small paperback about 6 x 8 inches. Within it's pages you'll find 250 deep space wonders along with 250 double stars complete with pictures and easy to use reference charts.
Each set of pages includes a table of interesting objects to see on the left side and a chart on the right. The table lists the objects of interest, along with pertinent data. There's your mix of deep space objects, open clusters, binary stars, and standard stars. Refractors are very nice for just looking at your standard stars you know. You got your big ones, your blue ones, your red ones.... There are two additional pieces of data that this volume provides lacking in so many other references. The first is the estimated distance in light years. I love this! The other is a guide to help you determine the difficulty in seeing the object shown by a die (as in dice). A six is super easy, a one will be more challenging.
Near the back of the book are black and white photos of all 250 deep space objects in the guide. This is really nice for your daytime aspects of your observing program or to tease out what you think you see as you compare it to the photograph.
At the back of the book is a full sky chart showing all of the constellations and a key to help you zoom in on the individual charts in the book.
I am sure that all objects in the book are observable in an 80mm scope and that is why I so heartily recommend this book. This is also a volume that I can highly recommend for budding astronomers. I see little mention of it in observing circles but it is a true little jewel. Get it!