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Cambridge Double Star Atlas

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#1 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:31 PM

Finally added this one (spiral) to my library. I think it will be a good companion for double stars....

#2 desertstars

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

It's become one of my primary resources. Most of my observing these days is done from home, in midtown Tuscon. Good skies for double star observing. I don't go out without the CDSA.

#3 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

CelestronDaddy said:

I think it will be a good companion for double stars....


Hi CelestronDaddy,

I agree with you 110%. CDSA has become my favorite out the door atlas. I think of it as an enlarged Pocket Sky Atlas. The PSA is getting harder and harder to see in daylight much less dimmed by a red observing light.

Good design, lays flat, (of course the doubles are marked) decent amount of DSOs id'ed, I like it a lot. I observe from home so I do not need a million faint stars for star hopping to a faint fuzzy, too much light pollution. Enjoy!

peace & clear skies

#4 C_Moon

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

I enjoy CDSA as well and agree that it is a good "enlarged" PSA, although it does not go as deep.

One thing I have trouble with in CDSA, though, is getting to the right chart quickly. I wish there was something like the back cover of PSA that has a whole-sky chart of the bright stars and constellations with the corresponding PSA chart superimposed -- it is quite helpful for getting me to the right chart quickly.

#5 Rick Woods

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

I enjoy CDSA as well and agree that it is a good "enlarged" PSA, although it does not go as deep.

One thing I have trouble with in CDSA, though, is getting to the right chart quickly. I wish there was something like the back cover of PSA that has a whole-sky chart of the bright stars and constellations with the corresponding PSA chart superimposed -- it is quite helpful for getting me to the right chart quickly.


There is, on pages 26-27. It's a good index, but poorly placed.

#6 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

Thanks for all the comments on the CDSA. I've read a lot on it and had actually never held one but I went ahead and got one based on comments from some of the folks on the Double Star forum. I know some didn't like the layout, whether it was by RA and not constellation and I've heard of some issues with accuracy on the tables. For me though it is going to be very useful from an atlas standpoint. I really like the larger size, say compared to the PSA, and I've heard the star charts might be Mr. Tirion's best. I think it will definitely get used :grin: Thanks....

#7 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

C Moon said:

One thing I have trouble with in CDSA, though, is getting to the right chart quickly.


Hi Paul

I'm with you on that one. I have a post-it bookmark for the constellations index on pages 89-90. I also use Astroplanner when I observe, luckily Paul Rodman the programmer for AP, added CDSA pages to the Observation Tab with a column for star atlases. CDSA, S2K, PSA and several more (15?) well known atlases including the elusive Herold-Bobroff atlas are in the column so I can quickly look up any object by page number.

Now I'm not suggesting to go out and buy AP just because of this feature. But I think other software does the same not sure if they include CDSA. My :penny: :penny: worth.

peace & clear skies

#8 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

I enjoy CDSA as well and agree that it is a good "enlarged" PSA, although it does not go as deep.

One thing I have trouble with in CDSA, though, is getting to the right chart quickly. I wish there was something like the back cover of PSA that has a whole-sky chart of the bright stars and constellations with the corresponding PSA chart superimposed -- it is quite helpful for getting me to the right chart quickly.


There is, on pages 26-27. It's a good index, but poorly placed.


I agree and have a post-it as a tab there! Thanks ....

#9 C_Moon

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

I enjoy CDSA as well and agree that it is a good "enlarged" PSA, although it does not go as deep.

One thing I have trouble with in CDSA, though, is getting to the right chart quickly. I wish there was something like the back cover of PSA that has a whole-sky chart of the bright stars and constellations with the corresponding PSA chart superimposed -- it is quite helpful for getting me to the right chart quickly.


There is, on pages 26-27. It's a good index, but poorly placed.


I agree and have a post-it as a tab there! Thanks ....


Yes, a post-it tab is helpful and a good idea.

After comparing both atlases last night, I think the issue is that I was spoiled by the PSA, which was my first only atlas for quite some time. One of the less-touted benefits of the PSA is its chart arrangement. The sky is arranged in intuitive shaped 'gores'. Also, the divisions lines between charts was determined chart-by-chart with a human in the loop, so whole constellations and familiar asterisms (e.g., Big Dipper) are placed on one page whenever possible. The arrangement is quite innovative and I am not doing it justice here, but you can read in the intro to your PSA for more detail.

Anyway, the CDSA is easy enough to navigate, but the PSA was purposefully designed to be quite user-friendly.

#10 Tony Flanders

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

One of the less-touted benefits of the PSA is its chart arrangement. The sky is arranged in intuitive shaped 'gores'.


Interesting. I liked the unconventional "gore" arrangment of the PSA right off the bat, and I have come to like it more the more I use it. I suspect that's because I think of the sky first in terms of RA (i.e. season and time of night) and only second in terms of Dec. That is, after all, how objects are sorted in conventional lists, and how the NGC objects are numbered.

However, many people complain about the PSA's organization and find it counterintuitive.

I like the CDSA's organization just fine except for one thing.

It's great to have the higher-RA map on the left and the lower-RA map on the right whenever there are two facing pages, so that the two maps join into a unified whole. But if you're going to do it that way, you should do it through the entire Dec strip, so that the continuation of the left-hand page comes before and the continuation of the right-hand page comes after.

So, the pages in the CDSA are arranged 2, 0, 5, 3, 8, 6, and so on. A more logical organization (as done in the Millennium Star Atlas and the second edition of Uranometria) would be 23, 21, 20, 18, 17, 15, and so on.

#11 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:52 AM

I have the CDSA and enjoy useing it. The one thing I don't understand is why the PA is not listed for most double stars? On some stars this can make finding the companion star difficult. :confused:

Rich (RLTYS)

#12 Rick Woods

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

One of the less-touted benefits of the PSA is its chart arrangement. The sky is arranged in intuitive shaped 'gores'.


Interesting. I liked the unconventional "gore" arrangment of the PSA right off the bat, and I have come to like it more the more I use it. I suspect that's because I think of the sky first in terms of RA (i.e. season and time of night) and only second in terms of Dec. That is, after all, how objects are sorted in conventional lists, and how the NGC objects are numbered.


Yeah, that's something I liked right off about the MSA, too. As soon as I saw the arrangement, I thought "Well, duh, that makes way more sense."






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