interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (Field Edition) 1st Edition
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Dragan Nikin, Astronomy Technology Today
- Publisher : Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2014)
- Language : English
- Spiral-bound : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1107503396
- ISBN-13 : 978-1107503397
- Item Weight : 2.87 pounds
- Dimensions : 11.2 x 1.1 x 11.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Although computerized star atlases are fast replacing their paper predecessors, there is still a place for a printed star atlas, which is why the German language version of this one sold out in Europe.
It seems to have just the right amount of detail, includes constellation lines, which I find very helpful, spiral bound, so will lay flat when open, or you can even fold it back on itself so it only takes up the space of one open page. None of the color codes are in red, so they will all show up under a red light (if you elect to take it outdoors, although there is a field edition for that use). There is a bit of overlap between the pages making it easier to follow from one page to the connecting page.
Deep sky objects are shaded according to how visible they should appear in various aperture telescopes - 4 inch, 8 inch, 12 inch, and greater than 12 inch. I would take these classifications with a grain (or two) of salt. The author states that the classifications are based on what can be seen under a reasonably dark rural sky. For example, the California Nebula, NGC 1499, is shown as visible in a 4 inch telescope. Perhaps. Yet in consulting the "Night Sky Observer's Guide Volume 1" it states that NGC 1499, even for 8 to 10 inch scopes, "...is very disappointing and difficult to detect visually." (There is not even an entry for 4 to 6 inch scopes, as there is for other deep sky objects when appropriate).
This is not to say that the classification provided by this Atlas is not valuable. It is, and it is the first time a star atlas has provided any such aid for deep sky objects. I am just saying that it is always wise to consult another source when in doubt.
The Atlas has numerous other useful features as well. A number of nebulas have a small symbol attached which indicates which filter you should use for best viewing. The size of the deep sky object is proportional to the visual size of the object in the sky. Double stars are indicated by symbols showing the separation, position angle, and magnitude (brightness) difference between the two stars. All of this is valuable information for observers. A reviewer in one of the astronomy forums went out with the atlas for a night of observations and found all of the double stars that he checked to be correct in the Atlas.
So, without a doubt, the very best star atlas to become available in years. Highly recommended.
As I write this review the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas Jumbo Edition sits next to my copy of Interstellarum's Deep Sky Atlas: Field Edition. The S&T book, for the price, has very similar star charts and I think for those of you looking for a more affordable option you might want to consider saving well over $100 on something less pricey. Does S&T's book have the same depth of information? No but for those of you wanting decent charts you can view with a red light in the field then there are more affordable options. If you want a really detailed deep sky atlas that covers a lot more then Interstellarum's DSA is what you want. I use the book both inside for detailed planning so my nights outdoors are used efficiently. I do feel that both books provide anyone really good information in a nice, easy to use format. I will also say that the water resistant print of DSA is much nicer and will certainly last longer than S&T's cheaper alternative.
So again great item I just feel it is a bit over priced. I would have gladly shelled out half the cost but regardless I'm still very pleased with it. I would also encourage you to go to their website and see the couple example star charts so you know what to expect.
I needed this Atlas to complete the Astronomical League Advanced Double Star Observing program as it lists the more difficult and rarer catalogued stars. Even the Cambridge Double Star Atlas did not have the more difficult stars listed and I love the Cambridge Atlas!
For Double Star work you need both.
Field of view and chart size took some getting used to but very effective with practice.
I highly recommend this Atlas for Observational Astronomers.
Top reviews from other countries
The "reference map" of the sky was Altlas Coeli (A2 format...) for me in those decades in Hungary.
I loved that printed map (there was no PC and internet in that time) with its very detailed and informative colourful format.
Nowadays, I use SkyTools3Pro software for star hunting running on my observatory PC and am hanging on the net continuously. At the same time, since I am a basically opened but conservative guy (...), what I really lacked from the desk of my backyard obsy was a good, precise printed map of the sky. Like my old reference above.
This DSA is very close to my reference above so I like it and am happy to buy it.
I can have just light criticism below.
1. I miss the colorful pattern of the Milky Way star regions from the map. Atlas Coeli provided two blue (dark blue and light blue, if I am right) colours for representing different densities of background star fields as continuous region in the Milky Way. That was very good feature and this is missing here indeed.
2. Price. Although the paper quality of the pages is extremely okay but physical dimensions of the map are small (cca. 26x28cm) - at least compared to the price. So it would have been bigger format for this price or cheaper in this dimension I feel.
But all in all, it is okay and I am really satisfied with it.