- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Sky Publishing; Second edition (2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0933346956
- ISBN-13: 978-0933346956
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sky Atlas 2000.0: Companion, 2nd Edition Second Edition
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'... comprehensive guide to every star cluster, nebula, and galaxy plotted in Sky Atlas 2000.0, 2nd edition.' Europe & Astronomy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book is a comprehensive guide to every star cluster, nebula, and galaxy plotted in Sky Atlas 2000.0, 2nd Edition. In addition to listing each object's chart numbers, the authors provide a descriptive paragraph about each, including comments by renowned observers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Now has far as each object that is listed goes the book lacks detail. The only thing provided is the bare minimum. So if you want additional information I guess you will have to go to the web. A small picture of each object even if it were black and white would have been nice.
Another thing missing although it might have made the book to big is a listing of bright stars and double stars. They recommend another two volume book or a CD ROM for that info. Having the double stars listed would have given the user a whole new set of night targets. And having the bright stars listed would have been nice even if they only gave the RA and DEC. If the RA and DEC's were listed the user could use this information as jumping off points when trying to find the DSO's.
It looks like I might have to pick up another set of books to help me with my jumping off points. But I will wait until I receive my atlas before deciding.
The book does what it is supposed to do and that is tell you what chart each object is located on and for that it does pretty darn good. I just wish they would have gone the extra mile and made the book a little more useful.
A little more information about the SA 2000 Companion:
The book says it contains descriptions and data for all 2,700 Star Clusters, Nebulae, and Galaxies shown in the Sky Atlas 2000.0 2nd edition.
The main section of the book, pages 1-227 is a complete listing of all the DSO's in alphabetical order. Quoting from the book "here is where you turn if you already have an object in mind and want to know three things:
1. Whether or not it is shown in the atlas 2. If so what char or charts it appears on 3. It celestial coordinates, size, brightness, and a description of its physical characteristics and appearance in a backyard telescope.
Next, the chart key on pages 228-229 is a miniature, simplified version of that found at the end of the atlas itself - a useful reminder of the chart layout.
Finally, the appendix on pages 231-281 alphabetically list all DSO's objects again, this time by chart number. Each of the atlas's large charts 1-26 is dealt with in turn, followed by each of the close-up charts of selected regions (A1 - A5, B1 & B2). This section of the book can be of help when you want to explor a particular reigon of the sky. Let's say you are already viewing the galaxy M33, which appears on Chart 4 of the atlas. You can turn to page 237 for a compact "hit list" of other object that, because they are alos on Chart 4, are similarly placed for viewing at the same time of the night or season of the year.. The appendix includes only the bare essentials: Object name, type, celestial coordinates, apparent magnitude, and constellation."
I like the Alphabetical list a lot. It makes it quick and easy to find objects. And because it's alphabetical all of the M's (for the most part, more on this in a minute), NGC's, IC's or other lists are all together. This prevents the need for multiple lists. Now the bad part of the book is that they have broken out some objects out of a common list because of a common name. Here are some examples of what I mean. Right off the bat when you get to M1 there is a note that says - See Crab Nebula; So you have to turn back in the book to the C's to find Crab Nebula it's a pain. M1 is on page 47 but Crab Nebula is on page 18. So I wrote in my book under M1 that information. If they would have simply said under M1 See Crab Nebula, Page 18, Chart 5 that would have been better. If they would have said "Crab Nebula, SNR Tau 05h 34.5m +22° 01' 6x4 Chart 5 mag. 8.4" it would have been perfect.
So going down the M list in the book these are a few of the ones you either have to flip forward or backwards in the book for with nothing more than a description that says "See so and so". M8 See Lagoon Nebula, M16 See Eagle Nebula (I wrote in page 25 charts 15 & 16), M17 See Omega Nebula, M20 See Trifid Nebula (I wrote in Page 223, Chart 22). While M20 is listed on page 49. I think you can see my frustration... With a little more effort they could have made the book a whole lot better.
First let me start by saying every NGC is not listed. In fact the first one is NGC 14 then it jumps to 16, then to 23 and 24, then to 40, then to 45, then to 50, then to 55. The last NGC entry is 7822. The same nonsensical logic is applied here. For example NGC 7092 on page 200 say See M39 which is on (hang on let me look it up) page 51, chart 9.
If these flaws were corrected and a better description written about the object the book would be nearly perfect for what it is designed to do.
After a short but well written introduction, the book presents its main section: an alphabetical listing of the 2,700 objects. Each entry typically includes type of object (galaxy, globular cluster, plnaetary nebula, etc.), constellation, celestial coordinates, apparent size, SkyAtlas chart, and magnitude, followed by a description of the object. Descriptions for the most popular objects - such as the Ring Nebula or the Andromeda Galaxy - amount to a full paragraph. Some include what the object looks like through a small telescope. Descriptions for lesser known objects may be as short as one line. Some of the descriptions will seem cryptic to those with limited knowledge, but it doesn't take much study to get up to speed.
The end of the book contains a chart key to SkyAtlas and a listing of objects by chart number.
According to the Preface, this book started as a personal database project by author Strong. As a result, it has somewhat of an amateur feel, but that's not necessarily bad. My criticisms are minor, and relate more to the useability of the book than its contents. First, I would rather have the book wire bound so it would lay flat on the table. Second, I would like to see Companion page numbers in the final table. This would make it a bit faster to cross-reference back to the main section (the thousands of NGCs take up 148 pages!). Third, I would have prefered (for instance) to have all the Messier Objects alphabetized by their M numbers, rather than having some of the them alphabetized by their popular names. This is not a knock on the authors, it is the unfortunate result of many objects having seveal names. The only solution to this problem would be an electronic version of this database. Also, I might have laid out the main section more like the tables in Tirion's Cambridge Star Atlas.
For a future edition, I would also like to see black and white photos of at least the most popular objects, if not all. Black and white is better than color at approximating the view through a small telescope.