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Customer Review

on August 18, 2006
This is just another 6th magnitude atlas with all the limitations pertaining thereunto. Atlases of this scale are inadequate for finding Neptune or bright asteroids. It does not even reach the limit of the humble 6x30mm finder.

This atlas is typical of Wil Tirion's work. He draws charts as clear and attractive as any astrocartographer in the business, but until he shows better understanding of the needs of observers in the field, his works will never be readily usable.

For example, charts should always be arranged in descending order of right ascension, not ascending. That way, when north is at the top of the chart, navigation between charts is intuitive: you move to the right edge of the chart, and to continue, you continue right to the next page. To continue left, you should go to the previous page.

Even worse, when you look for an object just off the edge of one of the charts, the edge of the chart tells you nothing about where to go next. You have to fumble back to the index page to find out which chart to go to, which is time consuming and aggravating.

Terrestrial atlases place guides at the edges of their maps: "continues on 14." This is all the more important for astronomical observation, where the user is in the dark with nothing but a red flashlight and possibly holding an eyepiece or filter. To make the atlas practicable for field use, users must write the adjacent chart information on the charts themselves.

I would recommend skipping the 6th magnitude atlases altogether and buying Sky and Telescope's far superior 7.6 magnitude Pocket Sky Atlas instead.
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