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Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas Spiral-bound – March 30, 2006
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About the Author
Roger Sinnott is a senior contributing editor of Sky & Telescope magazine. He coauthored the two-volume Sky Catalogue 2000.0. In 1997, he collaborated with Michael Perryman of the European Space Agency on the Millennium Star Atlas, the most detailed all-sky atlas of its time. Minor planet 3706 Sinnott is named in Roger's honor.
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When the Jumbo Edition arrived I found the EXACT same charts. Just larger...slightly. Each page is 8 3/8 x 11 3/4, with margins between 1/2" to 1 1/4". The chart size was 6 1/2 x 10 1/8. So they stretched the chart about an 1 1/2" side to side, and about 2 1/4" up and down. The Jumbo Edition had a hard cover, which I fear will get nasty after a few wet nights at the dark site. The rest of the pages appear to be the same water resistant pages as the other Sky Atlas, but they feel slightly different to the touch, so I guess time will tell if they hold up. The rest of the book is almost exactly the same, the words Jumbo Edition appear on each page, the publication dates changed, and the Sky & Telescope logo is printed on a page. They did add a few more Close-Up Charts. Today it goes from A to D, The jumbo edition goes to J. These extra close-up charts are of the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is wasted on those of us in north, but it also includes the Cone and Rosette, Big Dipper Bowl, Lion's Tail, Sky near Deneb, Steam from Teapot and Scorpion's Tail, which are all objects that can be seen by those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.
If your eyes get tired quicker than in your youth and you desire slightly larger print, this might help. If you haven't yet bought a pocket sky atlas, this might be a good addition to your inventory (if the hard cover and pages don't deteriorate the first time they get wet). If you already own a pocket sky atlas and are happy with it, and have no problems reading it, then I would not consider the jumbo edition a needed upgrade.
This will probably join me in my back yard where I get way less dew, but I might use it sparingly at my dark site until I know it can survive some moisture.
Clear Skies Everyone!
The facing pages cover 50 degrees of the sky, but the spiral binding allows you to fold over to just one page at a time if you wish. The atlas has 80 main charts containing 30,796 stars to approximately 7.6 magnitude.
I only use binoculars (10x50 and 20x60) for my viewing and this is the perfect atlas for me. It's size makes it much easier to use than most. It would make a good "first" star atlas for beginners and I know several advanced amateurs who use it with their "GoTo" telescopes because of it's portability.
One plus I find with this version (compared to others) is that when looking at a chart, the author provides an indicator on the edge of the chart which chart is nearby. So no having to hunt back to the index chart to figure out which chart to use.
I have used this in the field in dry and damp conditions and for now it seems to hold up well.
If you are looking to get your first "serious" sky chart this atlas is a great place to start.
On the down side is the fact that it isn't for beginners. BUT, beginners should get this as it will help them become proficient and experts at locating the thousands of objects few people realize are available for observing in the night sky.