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NSOG or Uranometria or... ?

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#1 pahoota

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:43 PM

A few months ago I stumbled across a complete mint hardbound set of Burnham's Celestial Handbook at a library book sale. A score for $20! Despite the age these books have limitless information and have reintroduced me to astronomy. Now I'm putting the Burnham's set to use with a new telescope and am having a blast. My current technique is to find interesting objects in the Handbook and then use internet star maps to picture how the sky will look tonight. I determine how I'm going to star-hop and then make a few finder charts using the USNO site. It all works fine but I have to jump through a lot of hoops, bouncing from one source of information to the other. I was wondering if I could find a book(s) that would tie all these steps together (star charts, finder charts, descriptions).

The Night Sky Observer's Guide (vols 1 and 2) and Uranometria 2000.0 both seem to be be fairly comprehensive. I understand the Uranometria doesn't have descriptions however.

Can anyone recommend either of these books? Or should I save my money and continue using my internet/Burnham's combo?

Thank you.

#2 Rick Woods

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:01 PM

The NSOG is closer to what you want, with small, localized star charts for various items and for each constellation. It has descriptions for several thousand objects as they appear in different apertures; it's a more amateur-oriented work.

Uranometria 2000 is strictly a star atlas - nothing but maps. There is, however, a companion volume to U2K called the "Deep Sky Field Guide", that is a massive list of objects in the U2K.

It's hard to say "either/or" on these; they're complimentary, and both are valuable to have.

Burnham's, of course, is the crowning masterpiece. $20 - nice score! :D

#3 caheaton

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:15 PM

It's not nearly as extensive as the NSOG, but you may wish to have a look at "The Observer's Sky Atlas". It packs a wealth of information on the best objects for amateur telescopes, and includes charts as well as finder charts. One night I forgot to bring my pocket sky atlas and had this book with me and I found it works as both a guide and an atlas. It's especially handy to grab if I don't have any particular targets in mind and decide to just wing it.

http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/0387485376



#4 David Knisely

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:08 AM

A few months ago I stumbled across a complete mint hardbound set of Burnham's Celestial Handbook at a library book sale. A score for $20! Despite the age these books have limitless information and have reintroduced me to astronomy. Now I'm putting the Burnham's set to use with a new telescope and am having a blast. My current technique is to find interesting objects in the Handbook and then use internet star maps to picture how the sky will look tonight. I determine how I'm going to star-hop and then make a few finder charts using the USNO site. It all works fine but I have to jump through a lot of hoops, bouncing from one source of information to the other. I was wondering if I could find a book(s) that would tie all these steps together (star charts, finder charts, descriptions).

The Night Sky Observer's Guide (vols 1 and 2) and Uranometria 2000.0 both seem to be be fairly comprehensive. I understand the Uranometria doesn't have descriptions however.

Can anyone recommend either of these books? Or should I save my money and continue using my internet/Burnham's combo?

Thank you.


If you are really going to use the Night Sky Observers Guide (NSOG) to its fullest, you do need Uranometria 2000.0 (or a computer-based atlas like MEGASTAR or THE SKY). There is an extensive review of NSOG in the CN REPORTS section of Cloudynights, so you might take a look at that. Clear skies to you.

#5 cuir

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:09 AM

Can anyone recommend either of these books


They both are highly regarded. As for what reference work you use, it all depends on your needs. Do you currently need a no-nonsense, easy to use compendium of described objects or a an Atlas ? The road of "either" and "or" is perhaps not the ideal solution... Perhaps you need both ?

Uranometria is great stuff, but the swath of sky covered by each map is very small. It's really helpful as an "extra" when you need more depth and your field Atlas is a magnitude 6~8, but as a main atlas, it's not very practical.

If you do not own a "regular" Atlas yet, I suggest you start with the Sky Atlas 2000 Field edition and it's companion book (Index). or at very least, the Cambridge star atlas 4th edition. - Though not as deep as SA2000, it's a bit deeper and more detailed than the ubiquitous Pocket Sky Atlas, and facing every map is a nifty list of object. This said, many people start with the Pocket Sky Atlas, and never go beyond it, but your projects seem to require something more extensive. The SA2000 comes with a graded stencil allowing you to plot exactly where objects are. Even when they are to dim and not represented on the map, plotting them can give you a very good idea of what to look for, and where to find it at the eyepiece.

There is also the option to print. I don't know whether it's a resource you are aware of, and use, but one of the great digital works is the Tri Atlas. The "C" set is quite detailed.

As for the object compendium, the Observing Handbook and Catalogue of Deep-Sky Objects is also worth every penny. You can check it out Google . Scroll to a page beyond page #21, to see what the "meat" of the book looks like. Supply of this book is dwindling, though, so if you're interested don't wait too long, the price is going up and availability is getting scarce.

#6 turtle86

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 12:13 PM

I would get both. The Night Sky Observer's Guide and Uranometria 2000.0 complement each other well. The All-Sky version of Uranometria is really a bargain for $60. The Uranometria Deep Sky Field Guide is nice to have, but that's something you can get later on. The Uranometria maps do have a narrow field of view, but you could first use something with a wider field of view like the Pocket Sky Atlas to help you find the right maps in Uranometria.

#7 Rick Woods

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 02:55 PM

Does the all-sky edition include that large-scale finder atlas that was in the 2-volume set?

#8 David Knisely

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:53 AM

Does the all-sky edition include that large-scale finder atlas that was in the 2-volume set?


No, I believe that it does not, which is sad, as that kind of made the 2nd edition a lot more useful. Clear skies to you.

#9 Pollux556

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:13 PM

It is optional:

WillBell web page

#10 Rick Woods

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:37 PM

The only option I see is for the acetate overlays. Where are you seeing an option for the large-scale finder atlas?

Wait, maybe I wasn't being clear: by large-scale finder atlas, I meant the mini-atlas at the front that shows large areas on each map, and directs you to the main atlas page for each area. It's like having Tirion's "Bright Star Atlas" built in. That would be an unfortunate thing to leave out!

#11 GeneT

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:10 PM

The Night Sky Observer's Guide (vols 1 and 2) and Uranometria 2000


Both; or substitute Sky Atlas 2000 for Uranometria 2000.

#12 Pollux556

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:41 PM

The only option I see is for the acetate overlays. Where are you seeing an option for the large-scale finder atlas?

Wait, maybe I wasn't being clear: by large-scale finder atlas, I meant the mini-atlas at the front that shows large areas on each map, and directs you to the main atlas page for each area. It's like having Tirion's "Bright Star Atlas" built in. That would be an unfortunate thing to leave out!


Ah ! Sorry Rick I misunderstood... again.... :confused:

#13 Rick Woods

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

Entirely my fault.

#14 cliff mygatt

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:27 PM

I have the single volume and it does have the charts in the front as well as the close up charts of Virgo, Orion, etc,

#15 Rick Woods

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:32 PM

Ah! Good news!

#16 David Knisely

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:11 AM

I have the single volume and it does have the charts in the front as well as the close up charts of Virgo, Orion, etc,


Is this the Index map charts or the "mini" star atlas (Uranometria Star Map (22 charts: I through XXII))? It was my understanding from Don Pensack that they were missing in this "All Sky" version:

http://www.cloudynig...5529971/page...

So who is right?

#17 LivingNDixie

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:15 AM

I will take a look in mine tonight and let you know David.

#18 Tony Flanders

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:51 AM

I have the single volume and it does have the charts in the front as well as the close up charts of Virgo, Orion, etc,


Is this the Index map charts or the "mini" star atlas (Uranometria Star Map (22 charts: I through XXII))? It was my understanding from Don Pensack that they were missing in this "All Sky" version:

http://www.cloudynig...5529971/page...

So who is right?


The single-volume edition has index charts, but no mini-atlas. The index charts are significantly more detailed (and with better cartography) than the ones in the two-volume edition, but they're nowhere near the level of detail of the mini-atlas.

#19 cliff mygatt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:31 PM

I guess I don't know what you all mean by "mini atlas". The index charts are on the front inside cover for northern hemisphere and southern is the next page, the "Detail" charts are in the back as appendices. What is the "mini atlas" we are chatting about? I sold my two volume set to fund the new version so cannot look for this "mini atlas" of which you all speak. I really like the new one volume format as it reduces weight and books in the field.

#20 Rick Woods

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:37 PM

Cliff,

The "mini atlas" is a large-scale atlas, similar to something like Norton's, Bright Star Atlas 2000, or the Cambridge Star Atlas. It's at the beginning of the U2000. It contains about 25 charts down to about mag. 6, and it's divided up so you can tell what chart in the main atlas shows in detail the small part of the mini atlas you're looking at. It's a "finder" atlas - you locate the area you're interested in, and then turn to the appropriate page in the main atlas.

#21 cliff mygatt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

Thanks, I guess I never used that part for some reason. I always used the inside cover showing what constellation was where!

#22 pahoota

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for adding to the discussion everyone; this thread really helped me make a decision.

I ordered the newest Uranometria. When it arrives I'll give my opinion of it from the perspective of someone returning to Astronomy after 25 years.

#23 Pollux556

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:20 AM

Rick,

I have the Uranometria 87-88 edition ( the first ? ) and this mini-atlas does not appear. The index is at the last page off each volume :question:

#24 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:01 PM

Andre,

The first edition doesn't have the mini-atlas. That was one of the changes in the second edition.

#25 Pollux556

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:27 PM

Thanks Rick.






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