Jump to content


Photo

Pocket Sky Atlas object list

  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Many of us have sung the praises of the Pocket Sky Atlas, but I'm wondering if anyone has created a list of the objects on its maps with data such as magnitude and size.

It would be a handy reference for people to have in the field to quickly determine if their particular scope or binocular is likely to detect an object on a page in the P.S.A.

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#2 JimK

JimK

    Skygazer

  • *****
  • Posts: 827
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

I answered a very TINY part of your request in this previous CN Post (click here). It discussed only the 55 carbon stars that are in the PSA (which should be visible in telescopes of at least 80mm).

#3 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

Mike...

SkyTools 3, the observation planning software, lists the magnitude and size and much more information essential to object selection. In fact, for every object in the SkyTools 3 database, a chart reference is given to the Pocket Sky Atlas, as well as the other popular print atlases. Therefore, SkyTools 3 will tell you the mag, size, surface brightness, distance; as well as the optimum time, location, and eyepiece to use for an object. And SkyTools 3 also gives you the chart number where the object is located in your favorite field paper atlas.

So...., better start singing the praises of SkyTools 3.
:band:

#4 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:34 PM

Bob,

'Course, I have SkyMap Pro, which does NOT include the P.S.A. objects as a target list!

Guess I could take one of my other downloaded object-list files out with me when using the P.S.A. It does NOT look like deriving an object list by magnitude, type, and / or size will derive a list that matches P.S.A., because of the process the authors used to chose the plotted objects, according to the introduction!

None of this matters, of course, while we experience "The Great Central Kentucky Nebula" overhead! (a.k.a endless cloud cover on moonless nights!)

Thanks,

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#5 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

Mike...

Yup, the Kentucky Nebula is bad. But at least it is warming up for a few days.


#6 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

Mike...

I may have mis-spoke. SkyTools 3 will generate a list of deep sky objects found in Pocket Sky Atlas. However, you will have to enter each item separately (roughly 15 seconds of time per object), or enter some kind of global search parameters such as "galaxies > or < (some parameter, such as magnitude, surface brightness, type of object, constellation, size, or catalog)". And then go and delete the objects not in PSA (about 5 sec per deleted object). Unfortunately, SkyTools 3 does not recognize the object lists in the back of Pocket Sky Atlas as a catalog. If it did then the list creation would go quicker.

Since the Pocket Sky Atlas and Sky Atlas 2000.0 are similar, you could use the Sky Atlas Companion, which gives a complete list of the 2700 deep sky objects on the SkyAtlas 2000 atlas. SAC includes the following for each entry.

Object type
Constellation
RA & dec coordinates
Angular size
Chart number
Magnitude
Position angle (in case of galaxy)
Descriptive paragraph
The objects are listed alphabetically in the main portion of the SAC, and by chart number (without descriptive paragraph) in the back matter of SAC. You could cross reference the object lists in the back of PSA with the object lists in SAC, by making some kind of mark on the SAC list as to whether the object is located in PSA.

Of course, as you said, you could do the same with any deep sky observing guide that provides the magnitude and size information in the entry.

Or purchase a copy of The Cambridge Atlas of Herschel Objects, which includes magnitude and size in the 2500-object list in the back matter of the atlas. In the 2500-object list in the back, objects are generally listed sequentially by NGC number. Here are the fields of the entries in the 2500-object list.

Herschel designation
NGC/M (list is arranged sequential by this column)
Constellation
RA (2000.0)
DEC
Type
Mag
Size
Common Name / Notes
Map No.
And since the scale and page size is larger with CAHO (but not as large as SA2000), you may find that you will prefer it over the PSA after a few nights out in the field.

Another option I have pursued is to remove the charts from the SkyAtlas 2000 and use them individually with the Sky Atlas Companion. This is a good option since one of the lists in the back of SAC is an object list by SA2000 chart number.

*****

Bob's Ruminations
Lots of options. PSA is the most convenient atlas around. However, a detailed object list in the back matter of PSA would have been such a good step forward--convenience and observing detail in one easy to hold package. I am sure there are observers who can fly with the PSA after learning what objects to view and where to look for them. But PSA doesn't help that much for those who are wanting to learn more and go to the next step. At some point, I think serious observers leave PSA on the shelf and reach for something more.


#7 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14450
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

Mike...

Yup, the Kentucky Nebula is bad. But at least it is warming up for a few days.


Then there's that Kentucky Jelly, which tastes really nasty on toast... :vomit:

#8 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:40 AM

Yup, it is bad this time of year. But people get their health back and everything starts improving around St. Patrick's Day. And by mid April the Bluegrass Region is some of the prettiest rolling country you will ever see. :roflmao:

#9 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14450
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

Yup, it is bad this time of year. But people get their health back and everything starts improving around St. Patrick's Day. And by mid April the Bluegrass Region is some of the prettiest rolling country you will ever see. :roflmao:


I'd love to see that sometime.
My only stay in Kentucky was in Lovable Ol' Looaville in the dead of summer - 110 degrees and 110% humidity.
(Funny how those things work; my only stay in Alaska was in Fairbanks in the winter. I'm doing something wrong, somewhere...)

#10 Carl Kolchak

Carl Kolchak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Northeast, Florida

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

Mike asked:

It would be a handy reference for people to have in the field to quickly determine if their particular scope or binocular is likely to detect an object on a page in the P.S.A.


Hi Mike,

AstroPlanner has a plan for 1560 non-stellar objects in PSA. Here is a list of the items AP lists:

Object Type Count
Asterism 3
BrNeb 13
D Neb 16
Dbl 1
DkNeb 114
E Neb 46
Galaxy 705
Globular 107
Globule 1
HIIRgn 5
IrrGal 1
IRSrc 1
Neb 108
Open 339
P Neb 91
Quasar 1
R Neb 30
Radio 2
S Gal 1
SNR 1
SpecBin 1
Star 33
Star Cld 1
Var Star 1

peace & clear skies

#11 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

Richard,

Your comment made me wonder (Since I don't have AstroPlanner) whether SkyMap Pro might help me with this. And, sure enough, it DOES!

I looked in my copy of P.S.A. for the approximate magnitudes of planetary nebulae and galaxies plotted; then I entered those parameters into the search function of SkyMap Pro. When I did the search function and created a sky-wide list of those two types of objects, I came up with a number of objects in each category that was just a bit higher than the number plotted in P.S.A.

I'll have to do a quick spot-check of several constellations to compare the lists between the two, but now I think I should be able to print out lists very similar to the objects plotted in P.S.A. for the purpose I stated in my original post!

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#12 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

:jump: :jump: :jump:

Three cheers for Mike. Another technology transfer problem solved.

#13 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

Heh-heh!!

I think Bob knows my job TITLE is a kinda nebulous "technology transfer officer," whatever THAT means! :p

But I also need to check to make sure the list of, say, planetary nebulae that SkyMap Pro derived is essentially the same list as Pocket Sky Atlas shows.

Heck, the catalogue in the software could be different...though I chose a limiting magnitude similar to the one used in the P.S.A.

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#14 Carl Kolchak

Carl Kolchak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Northeast, Florida

Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

Hi Mike,

Later tonight I'll post the list AP has as a txt file, something I think anyone can import into nay application they use.

peace & clear skies

#15 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20037
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

It would seem that S&T is missing out on a companion field guide opportunity. Sky Atlas 2000 has a companion guide. Pocket Sky Atlas should too.

Regards,

Jim

#16 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11172
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

It would seem that S&T is missing out on a companion field guide opportunity. Sky Atlas 2000 has a companion guide. Pocket Sky Atlas should too.


It has been discussed. No budget for it at the moment, but it certainly might happen some day.

#17 Carl Kolchak

Carl Kolchak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Northeast, Florida

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

into nay application



Should be any instead of nay.

Here is the AP plan in plain text originally created by Lionel Maraval.

peace & clear skies

Attached Files



#18 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:47 AM

Richard...

The AstroPlanner plain text file you attached to your last post is a great help--and goes a long way toward filling the void for some kind of observing guide for the Pocket Sky Atlas.

Can you please give us the column heading for the various data fields.

Furthermore, any data extraction parameters that were used to generate the list in AstroPlanner would also be helpful.

Thank you.

#19 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:56 AM

It would seem that S&T is missing out on a companion field guide opportunity. Sky Atlas 2000 has a companion guide. Pocket Sky Atlas should too.


It has been discussed. No budget for it at the moment, but it certainly might happen some day.


Tony...

(1) Can you give us a quick comparison between the number of nonstellar objects appearing on the SkyAtlas 2000.0 versus the number appearing on the Pocket Sky Atlas?

(2) And a quick number of the nonstellar objects appearing on the Pocket Sky Atlas that do not appear on the SkyAtlas 2000.0?

Thank you.

*****

P.S.: And yes, I definitely would buy any observing guide published for the Pocket Sky Atlas.

*****

P.P.S.: Maybe you can include some kind of comparison of the various S&T sky atlases on your most excellent SkyWeek broadcasts.

#20 Carl Kolchak

Carl Kolchak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Northeast, Florida

Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Bob asked:

Can you please give us the column heading for the various data fields.

Furthermore, any data extraction parameters that were used to generate the list in AstroPlanner would also be helpful.


Hi Bob,

The first attached file is APs plain text export and I'm not sure what perimeters are included or excluded. Some objects have data for Alt and Az others do not.

The attached file on this post is a comma delimited file with these parameters:

ID Name Type Const RA DEC Notes

The above parameters were used to export this file. There are others if you want me to try something else feel free to ask.

peace & clear skies,

Attached Files



#21 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

Richard...

Thank you very much for the second version of the object list.

I am interested in what Tony Flanders has to say about how many objects are in the Pocket Sky Atlas, that are not in SkyAtlas 2000.0. Is this a large group? Or something much smaller, say 50 or so objects not found in SkyAtlas 2000.0?

Richard, thank you again for your assistance.

#22 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Richard,

Thank you! I worked with the original text file you provided to create a target list in SkyMap Pro. It recognized all but about 49 of the objects, and some others were in a format that SkyMap Pro didn't recognize. (i.e., a name with/without a hyphen or a space in it.)

But the bottom line was that I was able to create a target list and observing report for the vast majority of the objects in the text list. It still needs some tweaking on a few objects, but it was a great help!

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#23 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:03 AM

Let us all hope that S&T decides to publish some kind of observer's guide for The Pocket Sky Atlas--with descriptive paragraphs for each object--similar to the current 2nd edition of their Sky Atlas Companion. Something of the same dimensions as the PSA would make a nice companion, and perfect for a two volume publication in a slip case similar to what they did for the Millennial Star Atlas paperback edition.

I always enjoy dreaming of what publishers should do with their invested capital. HA!

#24 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11172
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:07 AM

I am interested in what Tony Flanders has to say about how many objects are in the Pocket Sky Atlas, that are not in SkyAtlas 2000.0. Is this a large group? Or something much smaller, say 50 or so objects not found in SkyAtlas 2000.0?


I could in theory answer that question precisely, but at the moment I'm too lazy to do the necessary computer hacking.

But since I routinely use both databases to produce the charts that run in Sky & Telescope, I can offer a seat-of-the-pants answer. To a fair approximation, the nonstellar objects in the PSA are a subset of the ones in SA2K. The most obvious exception is that the PSA includes all of the Herschel 400. And I occasionally stumble on other exceptions as well.

Therefore, the Sky Atlas Companion will work quite well for the PSA as well.

In terms of labeling, the PSA labels many more double stars by name, as well as labeling carbon stars with a ©. Also, SA2K labels all Bayer stars with their Flamsteed numbers as well, whereas PSA uses either Bayer or Flamsteed, but never both.

The exact Bayer designations are a bit different in the two. It's a little-advertised fact that both the Bayer and Flamsteed designations are "ragged;" there are many cases where the designations are controversial and/or not universally used. I have been meaning to ask Roger how he derived the PSA designations ...

#25 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

Tony...

Thank you for the distinction between the nonstellar objects in the Sky Atlas 2000.00 and the Pocket Sky Atlas. I really need to use my PSA more frequently--it is the most convenient atlas around.

And thanks for confirming the importance of the Sky Atlas Companion for both atlases. Many of us enjoy the SAC a great deal due the ease of access of information, as well as the useful paragraph descriptions.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics