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The Leuven Star Atlas – making a publication quality stellar atlas from scratch

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#51 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:03 AM

You should get the All-sky version of Uranometria 2000.0 [..] and because it may soon go out of print.  

Thanks for that head-up, Don! I've wanted one for a while, to replace my quite beaten up Uranometria 2000.0, first edition, but have kept putting it off for years, since the old one was still doing great service. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#52 Starman1

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:19 AM

Remember, the 2nd edition of the DSFG is different than the first one.

The All-Sky edition is referenced by page number in the 2nd edition of the DSFG.



#53 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:23 AM

Remember, the 2nd edition of the DSFG is different than the first one.

The All-Sky edition is referenced by page number in the 2nd edition of the DSFG.

I figured as much, but since I never use the field guide (or almost never) for my old U2000.0, I decided to pass on it right now. I have already ordered my new all-sky U2000.0. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#54 Kyphoron

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:13 AM

I really didnt want to order the All Sky version and DSFG right now but I see they are disappearing fast so I rather pay cover price than some high rediculous amount later down the road. Thats why I decided to do it now. I see Amazon is all out and dealers are already asking 200.00+ dollars for the All Sky version.


Edited by Kyphoron, 01 August 2017 - 11:14 AM.


#55 Steve Cox

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:53 PM

Just order direct from the publisher, Willman-Bell - here, and you'll only pay regular price.  No need to pay the insane prices some on Amazon are charging.



#56 Kyphoron

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

Steve,

 

  I did order from Willman-Bell. What I meant was that if outlets like Amazon no longer have it in stock then the publishing of this book has most likely stopped and once Willman-Bell runs out that will be it and you will be forced to buy it for a much higher price. Thats why I said if you dont have it and want it now seems to be the time to order it while the publisher still has quantities available.



#57 papics

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:18 PM

### Short update on what I have been working on the previous days:

 

- Drawn my own constellation figures, mainly based on existing work (Pocket Sky Atlas and H.A. Rey's work, often including small modifications to make the figures more clear, or easier to recognise), but sometimes simply coming up with something better than what existed before (mostly for small southern constellations that did not look anything like their name). (I wrote a nice GUI for this where I can just click on stars and draw, so should I make up my mind about some of these, I can always very quickly change them).

 

- Implemented close-up charts, for now there are 16 charts (A1-A16) with 2x the magnification (limited stellar magnitude to 11.0), and 8 charts (B1-B8) with 3x magnification (limited stellar magnitude 11.5). Depending on the density of the final non-stellar database, I might include a few extra 3x fields for dense galaxy clusters. We will see. I also implemented that the fields of these zoom-in charts automatically get exported and rendered on the normal charts (like in Uranometria or Interstellarum), so that looks nice too. Just a reminder, now we have 6 index pages, 344 main chart pages, and 16+8 zoom-in pages.

- I have some positive news on the labelling process: I got some progress with the automatic label placement algorithm, and I also realised that even though I have written a a labelling GUI (which remains still very useful in placing extra labels or setting label visibilities to zero when needed), I can always do manual refinements in a vector graphic editor like https://graphic.com/mac/ (or Adobe Illustrator, but I don't need that much functionality at all), where I can very easily grab individual labels and drag them to the needed place. I could do it also in my own GUI, but as already mentioned in the long post earlier, that was a bit slow thus I did not like using it for that at all. Labelling is crucial, so good to know that I have the software to make the final touches when the time comes.

 

### Very near future to do list:

 

- I am going to do some refinements in the stellar catalogue, first of all I am very strongly considering moving to the All-Sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 million stars (Kharchenko+ 2009) from Tycho-2, because the ASCC is a compiled catalogue that contains Tycho-2 data extended with a few other catalogues, and it also has better information on close Hipparcos binaries, and handles double star components simply in a nicer way in general (version 1 of this catalogue had serious issues, but these were corrected, and now at version 3 it seems to be more complete than Tycho-2 itself - the only thing I don't like that much is that their conversion from Tycho B and V to Jhonson V uses the simple formula, but I guess I can live with that for a printed atlas where this precision will never show up). I will also add double star names from the WDS (which was missing so far). I will also move to the VSX from GCVS, because while the VSX contains basically the whole GCVS, there are a lot more stars in there with proper V magnitudes (instead of e.g. photographic values), and there has been a lot more manual polishing on some magnitude ranges based on historical AAVSO data. I am also adding common star name labels, which were missing. I am also leaning towards changing the double star marker from the usual star with horizontal line across to a line set at the actual PA angle (like in The Millennium Star Atlas or Interstellarum).

 

- I am going to build my non-stellar database from scratch, I think I have dealt with this atlas making for long enough to know how I can make a good one. (I am going to use some of the suggestions too that were given on this forum before, so thanks for that.) I want this to be great, the goal is ~15000-20000 objects, which on this scale should work well. I will darken very slightly the line colours of the deep sky objects to make the labels (that have the same colour) even more legible. 

 

### Interesting things I noted

 

- Atik is incorrectly identified in all atlases I have (Pocket Sky Atlas, Interstellarum, Sky Atlas 2000.0, Uranometria), it should actually be omicron Persei, as stated by the IAU (https://www.iau.org/...s/naming_stars/) and old charts (e.g., https://en.wikipedia...-_Perseus.jpg).

 

- The double star notation of Interstellarum is a bit messed up. Normally you plot the primary component with a symbol that denotes a double star (star with line across for most atlases, or star with line set at PA angle in others), and you do not plot the components (for visibility reasons, because they are too close to plot, etc.). But in Interstellarum the primary is plotted with a double star symbol, and also the components are plotted, which is very inconsistent... You can look up any of the example charts online (if you don't have the atlas) and see that for most double stars there will be two very closely spaced stars plotted on top of each other, and the brighter one of them will have the line pointing towards (but well beyond since the separation is very small) the component... This is clearly a design fault, the component stars should have been omitted in the plotting process (otherwise what is the point in showing the magnitude difference in the line width of the double star symbol). No atlas is perfect...



#58 ThomasM

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 01:40 PM

### Short update on what I have been working on the previous days:

 

- Drawn my own constellation figures, mainly based on existing work (Pocket Sky Atlas and H.A. Rey's work, often including small modifications to make the figures more clear, or easier to recognise), but sometimes simply coming up with something better than what existed before (mostly for small southern constellations that did not look anything like their name). (I wrote a nice GUI for this where I can just click on stars and draw, so should I make up my mind about some of these, I can always very quickly change them).

 

- Implemented close-up charts, for now there are 16 charts (A1-A16) with 2x the magnification (limited stellar magnitude to 11.0), and 8 charts (B1-B8) with 3x magnification (limited stellar magnitude 11.5). Depending on the density of the final non-stellar database, I might include a few extra 3x fields for dense galaxy clusters. We will see. I also implemented that the fields of these zoom-in charts automatically get exported and rendered on the normal charts (like in Uranometria or Interstellarum), so that looks nice too. Just a reminder, now we have 6 index pages, 344 main chart pages, and 16+8 zoom-in pages.

- I have some positive news on the labelling process: I got some progress with the automatic label placement algorithm, and I also realised that even though I have written a a labelling GUI (which remains still very useful in placing extra labels or setting label visibilities to zero when needed), I can always do manual refinements in a vector graphic editor like https://graphic.com/mac/ (or Adobe Illustrator, but I don't need that much functionality at all), where I can very easily grab individual labels and drag them to the needed place. I could do it also in my own GUI, but as already mentioned in the long post earlier, that was a bit slow thus I did not like using it for that at all. Labelling is crucial, so good to know that I have the software to make the final touches when the time comes.

 

### Very near future to do list:

 

- I am going to do some refinements in the stellar catalogue, first of all I am very strongly considering moving to the All-Sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 million stars (Kharchenko+ 2009) from Tycho-2, because the ASCC is a compiled catalogue that contains Tycho-2 data extended with a few other catalogues, and it also has better information on close Hipparcos binaries, and handles double star components simply in a nicer way in general (version 1 of this catalogue had serious issues, but these were corrected, and now at version 3 it seems to be more complete than Tycho-2 itself - the only thing I don't like that much is that their conversion from Tycho B and V to Jhonson V uses the simple formula, but I guess I can live with that for a printed atlas where this precision will never show up). I will also add double star names from the WDS (which was missing so far). I will also move to the VSX from GCVS, because while the VSX contains basically the whole GCVS, there are a lot more stars in there with proper V magnitudes (instead of e.g. photographic values), and there has been a lot more manual polishing on some magnitude ranges based on historical AAVSO data. I am also adding common star name labels, which were missing. I am also leaning towards changing the double star marker from the usual star with horizontal line across to a line set at the actual PA angle (like in The Millennium Star Atlas or Interstellarum).

 

- I am going to build my non-stellar database from scratch, I think I have dealt with this atlas making for long enough to know how I can make a good one. (I am going to use some of the suggestions too that were given on this forum before, so thanks for that.) I want this to be great, the goal is ~15000-20000 objects, which on this scale should work well. I will darken very slightly the line colours of the deep sky objects to make the labels (that have the same colour) even more legible. 

 

### Interesting things I noted

 

- Atik is incorrectly identified in all atlases I have (Pocket Sky Atlas, Interstellarum, Sky Atlas 2000.0, Uranometria), it should actually be omicron Persei, as stated by the IAU (https://www.iau.org/...s/naming_stars/) and old charts (e.g., https://en.wikipedia...-_Perseus.jpg).

 

- The double star notation of Interstellarum is a bit messed up. Normally you plot the primary component with a symbol that denotes a double star (star with line across for most atlases, or star with line set at PA angle in others), and you do not plot the components (for visibility reasons, because they are too close to plot, etc.). But in Interstellarum the primary is plotted with a double star symbol, and also the components are plotted, which is very inconsistent... You can look up any of the example charts online (if you don't have the atlas) and see that for most double stars there will be two very closely spaced stars plotted on top of each other, and the brighter one of them will have the line pointing towards (but well beyond since the separation is very small) the component... This is clearly a design fault, the component stars should have been omitted in the plotting process (otherwise what is the point in showing the magnitude difference in the line width of the double star symbol). No atlas is perfect...

This is a very impressive project and I like the new maps very much. Then I have two questions, (i) all object numbers refer to the NGC catalog if not other stated, (ii) the number of deep sky objects is smaller than of the Interstellarum Deep sky atlas altought the scale is larger, why?.

 

Thomas



#59 papics

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:02 PM

 

### Short update on what I have been working on the previous days:

 

- Drawn my own constellation figures, mainly based on existing work (Pocket Sky Atlas and H.A. Rey's work, often including small modifications to make the figures more clear, or easier to recognise), but sometimes simply coming up with something better than what existed before (mostly for small southern constellations that did not look anything like their name). (I wrote a nice GUI for this where I can just click on stars and draw, so should I make up my mind about some of these, I can always very quickly change them).

 

- Implemented close-up charts, for now there are 16 charts (A1-A16) with 2x the magnification (limited stellar magnitude to 11.0), and 8 charts (B1-B8) with 3x magnification (limited stellar magnitude 11.5). Depending on the density of the final non-stellar database, I might include a few extra 3x fields for dense galaxy clusters. We will see. I also implemented that the fields of these zoom-in charts automatically get exported and rendered on the normal charts (like in Uranometria or Interstellarum), so that looks nice too. Just a reminder, now we have 6 index pages, 344 main chart pages, and 16+8 zoom-in pages.

- I have some positive news on the labelling process: I got some progress with the automatic label placement algorithm, and I also realised that even though I have written a a labelling GUI (which remains still very useful in placing extra labels or setting label visibilities to zero when needed), I can always do manual refinements in a vector graphic editor like https://graphic.com/mac/ (or Adobe Illustrator, but I don't need that much functionality at all), where I can very easily grab individual labels and drag them to the needed place. I could do it also in my own GUI, but as already mentioned in the long post earlier, that was a bit slow thus I did not like using it for that at all. Labelling is crucial, so good to know that I have the software to make the final touches when the time comes.

 

### Very near future to do list:

 

- I am going to do some refinements in the stellar catalogue, first of all I am very strongly considering moving to the All-Sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 million stars (Kharchenko+ 2009) from Tycho-2, because the ASCC is a compiled catalogue that contains Tycho-2 data extended with a few other catalogues, and it also has better information on close Hipparcos binaries, and handles double star components simply in a nicer way in general (version 1 of this catalogue had serious issues, but these were corrected, and now at version 3 it seems to be more complete than Tycho-2 itself - the only thing I don't like that much is that their conversion from Tycho B and V to Jhonson V uses the simple formula, but I guess I can live with that for a printed atlas where this precision will never show up). I will also add double star names from the WDS (which was missing so far). I will also move to the VSX from GCVS, because while the VSX contains basically the whole GCVS, there are a lot more stars in there with proper V magnitudes (instead of e.g. photographic values), and there has been a lot more manual polishing on some magnitude ranges based on historical AAVSO data. I am also adding common star name labels, which were missing. I am also leaning towards changing the double star marker from the usual star with horizontal line across to a line set at the actual PA angle (like in The Millennium Star Atlas or Interstellarum).

 

- I am going to build my non-stellar database from scratch, I think I have dealt with this atlas making for long enough to know how I can make a good one. (I am going to use some of the suggestions too that were given on this forum before, so thanks for that.) I want this to be great, the goal is ~15000-20000 objects, which on this scale should work well. I will darken very slightly the line colours of the deep sky objects to make the labels (that have the same colour) even more legible. 

 

### Interesting things I noted

 

- Atik is incorrectly identified in all atlases I have (Pocket Sky Atlas, Interstellarum, Sky Atlas 2000.0, Uranometria), it should actually be omicron Persei, as stated by the IAU (https://www.iau.org/...s/naming_stars/) and old charts (e.g., https://en.wikipedia...-_Perseus.jpg).

 

- The double star notation of Interstellarum is a bit messed up. Normally you plot the primary component with a symbol that denotes a double star (star with line across for most atlases, or star with line set at PA angle in others), and you do not plot the components (for visibility reasons, because they are too close to plot, etc.). But in Interstellarum the primary is plotted with a double star symbol, and also the components are plotted, which is very inconsistent... You can look up any of the example charts online (if you don't have the atlas) and see that for most double stars there will be two very closely spaced stars plotted on top of each other, and the brighter one of them will have the line pointing towards (but well beyond since the separation is very small) the component... This is clearly a design fault, the component stars should have been omitted in the plotting process (otherwise what is the point in showing the magnitude difference in the line width of the double star symbol). No atlas is perfect...

This is a very impressive project and I like the new maps very much. Then I have two questions, (i) all object numbers refer to the NGC catalog if not other stated, (ii) the number of deep sky objects is smaller than of the Interstellarum Deep sky atlas altought the scale is larger, why?.

 

Thomas

 

Hi Thomas,

 

thanks! Yes, since the largest number of objects from a single catalogue will be the NGC objects, if not otherwise stated, a number without a catalogue-identifier letter-combination will stand for an NGC number. Concerning the object numbers, as I just said in the latest update, I am building towards a DSO database of 15000-20000 entries (Interstellarum has just a bit less than 15000). 

 

Cheers,

Peter



#60 ThomasM

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:34 PM

 

 

### Short update on what I have been working on the previous days:

 

- Drawn my own constellation figures, mainly based on existing work (Pocket Sky Atlas and H.A. Rey's work, often including small modifications to make the figures more clear, or easier to recognise), but sometimes simply coming up with something better than what existed before (mostly for small southern constellations that did not look anything like their name). (I wrote a nice GUI for this where I can just click on stars and draw, so should I make up my mind about some of these, I can always very quickly change them).

 

- Implemented close-up charts, for now there are 16 charts (A1-A16) with 2x the magnification (limited stellar magnitude to 11.0), and 8 charts (B1-B8) with 3x magnification (limited stellar magnitude 11.5). Depending on the density of the final non-stellar database, I might include a few extra 3x fields for dense galaxy clusters. We will see. I also implemented that the fields of these zoom-in charts automatically get exported and rendered on the normal charts (like in Uranometria or Interstellarum), so that looks nice too. Just a reminder, now we have 6 index pages, 344 main chart pages, and 16+8 zoom-in pages.

- I have some positive news on the labelling process: I got some progress with the automatic label placement algorithm, and I also realised that even though I have written a a labelling GUI (which remains still very useful in placing extra labels or setting label visibilities to zero when needed), I can always do manual refinements in a vector graphic editor like https://graphic.com/mac/ (or Adobe Illustrator, but I don't need that much functionality at all), where I can very easily grab individual labels and drag them to the needed place. I could do it also in my own GUI, but as already mentioned in the long post earlier, that was a bit slow thus I did not like using it for that at all. Labelling is crucial, so good to know that I have the software to make the final touches when the time comes.

 

### Very near future to do list:

 

- I am going to do some refinements in the stellar catalogue, first of all I am very strongly considering moving to the All-Sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 million stars (Kharchenko+ 2009) from Tycho-2, because the ASCC is a compiled catalogue that contains Tycho-2 data extended with a few other catalogues, and it also has better information on close Hipparcos binaries, and handles double star components simply in a nicer way in general (version 1 of this catalogue had serious issues, but these were corrected, and now at version 3 it seems to be more complete than Tycho-2 itself - the only thing I don't like that much is that their conversion from Tycho B and V to Jhonson V uses the simple formula, but I guess I can live with that for a printed atlas where this precision will never show up). I will also add double star names from the WDS (which was missing so far). I will also move to the VSX from GCVS, because while the VSX contains basically the whole GCVS, there are a lot more stars in there with proper V magnitudes (instead of e.g. photographic values), and there has been a lot more manual polishing on some magnitude ranges based on historical AAVSO data. I am also adding common star name labels, which were missing. I am also leaning towards changing the double star marker from the usual star with horizontal line across to a line set at the actual PA angle (like in The Millennium Star Atlas or Interstellarum).

 

- I am going to build my non-stellar database from scratch, I think I have dealt with this atlas making for long enough to know how I can make a good one. (I am going to use some of the suggestions too that were given on this forum before, so thanks for that.) I want this to be great, the goal is ~15000-20000 objects, which on this scale should work well. I will darken very slightly the line colours of the deep sky objects to make the labels (that have the same colour) even more legible. 

 

### Interesting things I noted

 

- Atik is incorrectly identified in all atlases I have (Pocket Sky Atlas, Interstellarum, Sky Atlas 2000.0, Uranometria), it should actually be omicron Persei, as stated by the IAU (https://www.iau.org/...s/naming_stars/) and old charts (e.g., https://en.wikipedia...-_Perseus.jpg).

 

- The double star notation of Interstellarum is a bit messed up. Normally you plot the primary component with a symbol that denotes a double star (star with line across for most atlases, or star with line set at PA angle in others), and you do not plot the components (for visibility reasons, because they are too close to plot, etc.). But in Interstellarum the primary is plotted with a double star symbol, and also the components are plotted, which is very inconsistent... You can look up any of the example charts online (if you don't have the atlas) and see that for most double stars there will be two very closely spaced stars plotted on top of each other, and the brighter one of them will have the line pointing towards (but well beyond since the separation is very small) the component... This is clearly a design fault, the component stars should have been omitted in the plotting process (otherwise what is the point in showing the magnitude difference in the line width of the double star symbol). No atlas is perfect...

This is a very impressive project and I like the new maps very much. Then I have two questions, (i) all object numbers refer to the NGC catalog if not other stated, (ii) the number of deep sky objects is smaller than of the Interstellarum Deep sky atlas altought the scale is larger, why?.

 

Thomas

 

Hi Thomas,

 

thanks! Yes, since the largest number of objects from a single catalogue will be the NGC objects, if not otherwise stated, a number without a catalogue-identifier letter-combination will stand for an NGC number. Concerning the object numbers, as I just said in the latest update, I am building towards a DSO database of 15000-20000 entries (Interstellarum has just a bit less than 15000). 

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Peter,

 

thanks a lot for the good news!

 

Thomas



#61 ThomasM

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 04:20 PM

Hi Peter,

 

after some observation in the Cynus region, especially North American Nebula, I  compared your example page 55 with the corresponding page in the interstellarum deep sky atlas (page 17). It seems that you have only considerd a quite restricted selection of dark nebula, e.g. B 350,. B352, B 361, while the interstellarum atlas presents the complete list. What about the remaining objects?

 

best regards

 

Thomas



#62 papics

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:14 PM

Hi Peter,

 

after some observation in the Cynus region, especially North American Nebula, I  compared your example page 55 with the corresponding page in the interstellarum deep sky atlas (page 17). It seems that you have only considerd a quite restricted selection of dark nebula, e.g. B 350,. B352, B 361, while the interstellarum atlas presents the complete list. What about the remaining objects?

 

best regards

 

Thomas

Hi Thomas,

 

yes, the non-completeness of, e.g., the Barnard catalogue objects is a remnant of starting the whole DSO database based on the SAC database (which itself is a selection of objects and not a homogeneous collection of a set of selected catalogues). It will not be an issue in the final version, since I am redoing the whole DSO database from scratch...

 

Cheers,

Peter


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#63 ThomasM

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 01:09 AM

 

Hi Peter,

 

after some observation in the Cynus region, especially North American Nebula, I  compared your example page 55 with the corresponding page in the interstellarum deep sky atlas (page 17). It seems that you have only considerd a quite restricted selection of dark nebula, e.g. B 350,. B352, B 361, while the interstellarum atlas presents the complete list. What about the remaining objects?

 

best regards

 

Thomas

Hi Thomas,

 

yes, the non-completeness of, e.g., the Barnard catalogue objects is a remnant of starting the whole DSO database based on the SAC database (which itself is a selection of objects and not a homogeneous collection of a set of selected catalogues). It will not be an issue in the final version, since I am redoing the whole DSO database from scratch...

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Hi Peter,

 

sounds very good, thanks a lot1

 

Thomas



#64 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 04:35 PM

Beautiful work!

 

- The "stick figures" will definitely help with orientation at this image scale.

 

- I like the additional depictions of dark nebula, more detailed than the same chart area on U2000.

 

- With the rise of EAA and NV many large and bright "new" nebula (Hydrogen alpha regions) are within easy reach of amateurs but not commonly depicted in atlases (for example Sharpless 2-119 and the nebulosity around 62 Cygni). Hopefully you will find a way to include these types of targets without undue clutter.

 

Leuven is definitely something I would want for the coffee table and office! In the field? Very possibly.

 

- SkySafari has some weakness such as depiction of dark nebula.

 

- It is also unable to display some nebula with database magnitude values of "Unknown" (unless you happen to know the object name to enter in the search box).

 

Due to these issues I have un-retired U2000 for field work. 



#65 C.Hay

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 05:41 PM

Peter,

 

I can't quite follow your statement that Interstellarum has "messed up" double star annotations. As a keen visual observer, I find Interstellarum's presentation quite excellent. One really has to root around a lot in that atlas to find any instance of what you describe - and even then I wonder if such instances don't actually mean there is a further star there that is not part of the double-star system.

 

As a keen student of starlore and star names, I must also take issue with your statement about Atik. Paul Kunitzsch is arguably the modern authority. His work with Tim Smart, "A Dictionary of Modern Star Names" (Sky Publishing, 2nd Ed., 2006; it is a small book, but it is just a small excerpt from a large body of work by Kunitzsch, mostly written in German) states:

"Omicron Per: Atik - Applied in recent times (also to Zeta Per), from an abbreviation of the indigenous-Arabic name 'atiq al-thurayya', 'the collarbone of the Pleiades,' for Omicron and Zeta Per, after their location in the indigenous-Arabic asterism here."

To understand this you need to know that Al-Thurayya is the large figure of a woman - the woman's head is the Pleiades, her outstretched right arm runs through Perseus, her right hand is our Cassiopeia. It is entirely fitting that both Omicron and Zeta are Atik, the collarbone. The flip-flop among atlases in the assignment of Atik to one or the other of the two stars is the result of our modern insistence on standardisation which does not always do justice to the way these names were coined.

 

You state that the IAU-approved designation is Omicron=Atik. Fair enough. Yet you plan to depart from the IAU-approved constellation lines, inventing ones of your own. Not consistent, sir.

 

CS, Christopher Hay


Edited by C.Hay, 24 September 2017 - 05:42 PM.


#66 papics

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:08 AM

Peter,

 

I can't quite follow your statement that Interstellarum has "messed up" double star annotations. As a keen visual observer, I find Interstellarum's presentation quite excellent. One really has to root around a lot in that atlas to find any instance of what you describe - and even then I wonder if such instances don't actually mean there is a further star there that is not part of the double-star system.

 

As a keen student of starlore and star names, I must also take issue with your statement about Atik. Paul Kunitzsch is arguably the modern authority. His work with Tim Smart, "A Dictionary of Modern Star Names" (Sky Publishing, 2nd Ed., 2006; it is a small book, but it is just a small excerpt from a large body of work by Kunitzsch, mostly written in German) states:

"Omicron Per: Atik - Applied in recent times (also to Zeta Per), from an abbreviation of the indigenous-Arabic name 'atiq al-thurayya', 'the collarbone of the Pleiades,' for Omicron and Zeta Per, after their location in the indigenous-Arabic asterism here."

To understand this you need to know that Al-Thurayya is the large figure of a woman - the woman's head is the Pleiades, her outstretched right arm runs through Perseus, her right hand is our Cassiopeia. It is entirely fitting that both Omicron and Zeta are Atik, the collarbone. The flip-flop among atlases in the assignment of Atik to one or the other of the two stars is the result of our modern insistence on standardisation which does not always do justice to the way these names were coined.

 

You state that the IAU-approved designation is Omicron=Atik. Fair enough. Yet you plan to depart from the IAU-approved constellation lines, inventing ones of your own. Not consistent, sir.

 

CS, Christopher Hay

Dear Christopher,

 

I checked the double star issue in Interstellarum well/deep enough to be sure of it, and it is for sure not the case of having multiple components displayed in that manner. Actually, I did not notice it until I have carefully implemented double stars myself, so it is not something that stands out very easily.

 

Concerning Atik, I agree that the confusion must have roots in history, but sticking to the official IAU names is the best I can do.

 

On the other hand, there are no official IAU constellation lines, as I quote from the IAU: "In star maps it is common to mark line “patterns” that represent the shapes that give the name to the constellations. However, the IAU defines a constellation by its boundary (indicated by sky coordinates) and not by its pattern and the same constellation may have several variants in its representation." Then later on: "The charts below were produced in collaboration with Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg). Alan MacRobert's constellation patterns, drawn in green in the charts, were influenced by those of H. A. Rey but in many cases were adjusted to preserve earlier traditions." Still, these are not official, but simple examples for illustrative purposes. If there were official lines, I would of course not depart from them.

 

Thanks for the feedback,

cheers,

Peter



#67 Starman1

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:19 AM

Count me as one for whom Rey's reinterpretation of the connect-the-dots patterns have completely spoiled the patterns

that make sense.

Yes: https://thumb7.shutt...n-380013775.jpg

No: https://qph.ec.quora...3f385535cbd29-c


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#68 Starman1

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 10:35 AM

I might add, a good star atlas should not have connect-the-dots constellation patterns anyway.


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#69 rockethead26

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

I might add, a good star atlas should not have connect-the-dots constellation patterns anyway.

I gotta disagree with that. It helps to create order out of chaos when trying to zero in on a specific part of the sky.


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#70 Starman1

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

Only when the scale is small (e.g. Tirion Sky Atlas 2000 with 26 charts)

If the atlas has more than 50 pages, only small segments of connect-the-dots patterns would be visible on each page.

And this atlas will have a large scale.


Edited by Starman1, 25 September 2017 - 11:48 AM.


#71 dpastern

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:16 AM

The size goal is A4 pages, anything larger might be pretty, but gets difficult to handle in my opinion. The label sizes are large enough that they are well visible even at a full extended arm's distance.

 

I personally think A4 is too small.  A3 minimum.  Just my honest opinion.



#72 pwang99

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:56 PM

Hi Peter, this is a commendable effort and the atlas looks very nice!

 

My only suggestion would be that you switch to using Anaconda, the distribution I make, as that should open you up to using all of the conda packages on http://anaconda.org and especially, the conda-forge community.  Also, it is entirely open-source and free, unlike Canopy.  Since you are using the Python stack to build the atlas, it would be a total dream to one day have a web access portal set up for customers of your atlas to print out their own custom maps.  Now *that* would be an amazing feature I'd pay a lot of money for!

 

Also, as a Night Vision astronomer, I have become very enamored with the Charles Bracken "Astrophotography Sky Atlas".  This shows many Sharpless and other objects which are only within the range of EAA technics (video astronomy, CCD cameras, or Night Vision image intensifiers).  Virtually no paper atlas really shows these well, and even Interstellarum is lacking in this regard.


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#73 Starman1

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:20 PM

Hi Peter, this is a commendable effort and the atlas looks very nice!

 

My only suggestion would be that you switch to using Anaconda, the distribution I make, as that should open you up to using all of the conda packages on http://anaconda.org and especially, the conda-forge community.  Also, it is entirely open-source and free, unlike Canopy.  Since you are using the Python stack to build the atlas, it would be a total dream to one day have a web access portal set up for customers of your atlas to print out their own custom maps.  Now *that* would be an amazing feature I'd pay a lot of money for!

 

Also, as a Night Vision astronomer, I have become very enamored with the Charles Bracken "Astrophotography Sky Atlas".  This shows many Sharpless and other objects which are only within the range of EAA technics (video astronomy, CCD cameras, or Night Vision image intensifiers).  Virtually no paper atlas really shows these well, and even Interstellarum is lacking in this regard.

Would this help?

http://www.sdss.org



#74 gatsbyiv

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:13 PM

I've been there and done this.  For what it's worth, you might find some of my thoughts useful.  These are thoughts I never thought I'd have occasion to share, because how many other people are crazy enough to create a night-sky atlas??  smile.gif

  • I spent 419 hours creating my atlas over about 2 years (I kept a log).  Only about 100 was the programming, which I did in R because it had the best set of functions for dealing with map projections.  I'd bet 150 hours was spent tracing nebula and cross-referencing between catalogs to find errors.  I actually stumbled upon exactly the tracing method you did, using Aladin.  Talk about tedious.  I probably spent another 50 hours dealing with boundary issues at the poles and along the meridian.  The final 100 or so was spent moving labels around manually, getting the pdfs to print-quality, writing the text, designing the cover, etc.  
  • I created my own constellation lines based on what I'd seen that I liked and what I was used to.  I didn't get too hung up on it, though.  The southern constellations are pretty disconnected from their namesakes anyway.
  • Like you, I was disappointed with the standard 1930's isophote approach to presenting the Milky Way.  So I downloaded data on many millions of magnitude 12-ish stars and plotted their density.  It wasn't perfect in some spots, but at a macro scale, it generated almost exactly the same thing you show on your website.
  • Regarding publishing, know that this is a very niche product, so not a lot of publishers would tackle it.  The market is also pretty well covered.  I had a particular niche I was aiming at:  AP.  I was frustrated that so many atlases were cluttered with hundreds of open clusters (in my view, not interesting), yet they completely left out most of the amazing Sharpless, RCW, and vdB objects, because they are so dim. So it may help you to focus on some need that is not being met by current atlases.
  • Regarding format, I would have loved for mine to be spiral bound on laminated paper, but that is a super-special (and expensive) printing spec.  None of the major self-publishing companies offer anything like this.  In fact, 8.5x11" is the biggest you can get there, so that's what I took.  So you'd either have to arrange a custom print run with a printer, or convince a publisher who already does atlases to take this on. That's why most atlases are so expensive:  they require special printing for a low volume market.
  • I learned a lot in the process, and the experience was priceless, as you are probably discovering.  Honestly, I can't remember how it started, but once I'd fixed on the idea of creating an atlas, I had to see it through.  I learned so much about the various DSO catalogs, map projections, pdf formats, etc.

Your maps look beautiful, so I hope nothing above is discouraging.  If you've automated the process of label arrangement, you've saved yourself a lot of hours there.  And you've already traced your irregular DSOs, which is another huge time sink.   

 

Best wishes on this endeavor.  I find it interesting that anyone else is compelled to do this, but apparently there are a few others out there.

 

Charlie


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#75 papics

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:51 PM

Hi Peter, this is a commendable effort and the atlas looks very nice!

 

My only suggestion would be that you switch to using Anaconda, the distribution I make, as that should open you up to using all of the conda packages on http://anaconda.org and especially, the conda-forge community.  Also, it is entirely open-source and free, unlike Canopy.  Since you are using the Python stack to build the atlas, it would be a total dream to one day have a web access portal set up for customers of your atlas to print out their own custom maps.  Now *that* would be an amazing feature I'd pay a lot of money for!

 

Also, as a Night Vision astronomer, I have become very enamored with the Charles Bracken "Astrophotography Sky Atlas".  This shows many Sharpless and other objects which are only within the range of EAA technics (video astronomy, CCD cameras, or Night Vision image intensifiers).  Virtually no paper atlas really shows these well, and even Interstellarum is lacking in this regard.

Hi, thanks! I had Anaconda at one point, but then my (now previous) workplace switched to Canopy, and since my laptop was maintained by the IT there, they moved me to Canopy. Now I don't want to mess around with the python packages anymore, because I am afraid to break something and make myself a few hours of extra work :( Maybe when it is all done, and the print is ready, I can look into making some kind of request-based service, but this is really looking into the not-so-near future.

 

I've been there and done this.  For what it's worth, you might find some of my thoughts useful.  These are thoughts I never thought I'd have occasion to share, because how many other people are crazy enough to create a night-sky atlas??  smile.gif

  • I spent 419 hours creating my atlas over about 2 years (I kept a log).  Only about 100 was the programming, which I did in R because it had the best set of functions for dealing with map projections.  I'd bet 150 hours was spent tracing nebula and cross-referencing between catalogs to find errors.  I actually stumbled upon exactly the tracing method you did, using Aladin.  Talk about tedious.  I probably spent another 50 hours dealing with boundary issues at the poles and along the meridian.  The final 100 or so was spent moving labels around manually, getting the pdfs to print-quality, writing the text, designing the cover, etc.  
  • I created my own constellation lines based on what I'd seen that I liked and what I was used to.  I didn't get too hung up on it, though.  The southern constellations are pretty disconnected from their namesakes anyway.
  • Like you, I was disappointed with the standard 1930's isophote approach to presenting the Milky Way.  So I downloaded data on many millions of magnitude 12-ish stars and plotted their density.  It wasn't perfect in some spots, but at a macro scale, it generated almost exactly the same thing you show on your website.
  • Regarding publishing, know that this is a very niche product, so not a lot of publishers would tackle it.  The market is also pretty well covered.  I had a particular niche I was aiming at:  AP.  I was frustrated that so many atlases were cluttered with hundreds of open clusters (in my view, not interesting), yet they completely left out most of the amazing Sharpless, RCW, and vdB objects, because they are so dim. So it may help you to focus on some need that is not being met by current atlases.
  • Regarding format, I would have loved for mine to be spiral bound on laminated paper, but that is a super-special (and expensive) printing spec.  None of the major self-publishing companies offer anything like this.  In fact, 8.5x11" is the biggest you can get there, so that's what I took.  So you'd either have to arrange a custom print run with a printer, or convince a publisher who already does atlases to take this on. That's why most atlases are so expensive:  they require special printing for a low volume market.
  • I learned a lot in the process, and the experience was priceless, as you are probably discovering.  Honestly, I can't remember how it started, but once I'd fixed on the idea of creating an atlas, I had to see it through.  I learned so much about the various DSO catalogs, map projections, pdf formats, etc.

Your maps look beautiful, so I hope nothing above is discouraging.  If you've automated the process of label arrangement, you've saved yourself a lot of hours there.  And you've already traced your irregular DSOs, which is another huge time sink.   

 

Best wishes on this endeavor.  I find it interesting that anyone else is compelled to do this, but apparently there are a few others out there.

 

Charlie

Dear Charlie, thanks for the thoughts, it is always nice to hear from other people who are crazy enough to do such things. My current most important goal is indeed the label-placement automation for 95 percent of all labels, where things are not so complicated. I have the main ideas figured out quite well, I "only" need to code it now ;) Even though I think I have a good algorithm set up in my mind, I fear that, e.g., very densely crowded galaxy clusters will still need manual cleanup. Even though in my original post I have written that I might consider full manual placement, that is just not a viable option at this scale (and number of labels). For example if at a later stage I decide to make a change, e.g., in the DSO database, then I would need to redo the labelling, and that is a no-go if I had to do that manually. So I will make sure the automated method works before I do the final cleanup on the DSO database.

 

Since the last update I only did small changes in the atlas, mainly cosmetics, by refining the RA, Dec label placement along the borders to make things perfectly symmetric (yes, I do have a slight OCD), and making sure that all nebula outlines are smooth (cleaning up jagged edges that come from drawing in Aladdin, but not removing actual complex shape data), and I added common star name labels. Since the 1st of October I am on the job market looking for something new, so in the meantime I have plenty of time to work on the atlas.




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