- Spiral-bound: 110 pages
- Publisher: Sky Publishing; Spi edition (March 30, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931559317
- ISBN-13: 978-1931559317
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 334 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas Spiral-bound – March 30, 2006
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The construction is well done. The covers are hard and the front cover can wrap behind the back. The spiral binding actually has a little nicer arrangement than the original. The pages are dew resistant -- the paper seems the same as the original. And the graphics are top notch, too -- good choices for fonts, icons, rules. Like any good atlas, the links to neighboring parts of the sky are easily found with cross references in the margin.
If you had to chose only one edition, your two prime decisions factors would be print size and portability. If you need the larger fonts and graphics, the Jumbo is the easy call. Some people care about a small footprint for travel or a flexible cover for aggressive packing more than the print size. They could make a case for the original with its smaller dimensions and flexible cover. If you're deciding which edition to get as a gift, I think most astronomers would appreciate the Jumbo.
BTW, people will tease that the Jumbo shouldn't be called a "pocket atlas". But in all frankness, the original didn't fit into any pockets, either.
Of the half-dozen atlases in my growing astro library, this has become my go-to, outdoors, immediate reference. Small, but mighty!
Pros: Spiral bound, the only way to go if you want something at hand while outside and viewing.
Organized nicely (!) with border indicators to adjacent maps
Provides constellation "stick figures" and object coordinates, indispensable for the aspiring astronomer because we need some reference, not all atlases provide this.
Ridiculously low priced considering it's content and utility.
so-so: Not a desktop atlas, so this means that a desktop atlas page is actually 2 pages on the PSA, a slight overlap so nothing is omitted, and is actually convenient in that you can fold over the half you are interested in. No more big books blowing in the breeze.
cons: small print (not tiny print)-- but it is after all, a "pocket" atlas, but easily remedied with a magnifier sheet, available here on Amazon
"4.5" x 7" Flexible 200% Magnifier Sheet", available in a number of magnification powers... and these work very well.
S&T recently reprinted their PSA in a larger format, their "Jumbo PSA", and with a larger price tag. The content is the SAME, but slightly larger format, about 30% (guessing) if you have vision issues (I do, thus the magnifier). Other than size, this is the same atlas. Either will serve you well. The price difference amounts to 2 foofy coffees at your favorite barista's.
My only other recommendation, to whatever atlas you prefer, is a decent planisphere... a snapshot of the universe above, as indispensable as is an atlas.