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Interesting Atlas

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#1 brentknight

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:08 AM

I recently volunteered to help find new homes for the volumes in my club's astronomy library.  The books have all been donated by other club members over the years, but nobody has ever checked any of them out.  A most gracious reward for my efforts was that I got first crack at them.  Two of the items I picked up were the 1972 and 1974 reprints of the Atlas Borealis and Atlas Eclipticalis by Antonin Becvar.

 

Atlas Borealis.jpg   Atlas Eclipticalis.jpg

 

These books are huge, but are significantly more manageable than the originals as the charts in the later editions were folded in half.

 

P1.jpg

 

For scale, the atlas on the left is Uranometria 2000 Deep Sky Atlas: All Sky Edition and on the right is Norton's Star Atlas: Sixteenth Edition.  The actual scale is about the same as the Uranometria, but the charts are on fewer sheets.  These charts came out after Becvar's Atlas of the Heavens, but they don't show any deep sky objects or very many labels whatsoever.  What they do show is stars that had known positions down to at least 9.5 magnitude and the stars are all color coded by spectral class.

 

These two volumes are only 2/3 of the full atlas.  I don't have the third Atlas Australis covering the southern sky from -30° to the pole and so don't have charts that cover the Scorpius/Sagittarius regions and farther south.

 

I don't have much more information on this atlas but wanted to share some pictures of the Orion region.

 


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#2 brentknight

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:21 AM

Here are some photos of Orion from Atlas Eclipticalis...

 

P3.jpg

 

P4.jpg

With the PSA: First Edition

 

P5.jpg

 

The charts are beautiful to look at, but the atlas is very difficult to use.  None of the conveniences we take for granted are included.  There is no index, and no reference to adjacent charts.  Constellations boundaries are just shown where they form corners.

 

P2.jpg

 

Still, this atlas is useful as a reference for the fainter stars and the star colors, if not very practical in the field...

 


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#3 kb7wox

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:28 AM

Were listed in the Scanning the Skies with Sky Publications 1978 catalog for all three atlases at $67.50, within the November 1982 catalog the sale price was $49.95 each.


Edited by kb7wox, 27 February 2020 - 04:52 PM.

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#4 brentknight

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:12 PM

On AbeBooks, the cheapest I've seen them is around $100 each.  I'd love to grab a copy of Australis or Atlas of the Heavens, but $100 is pretty rich for me...



#5 Starman1

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:01 PM

No deep sky objects, though, so not much use as an observer's atlas.



#6 Alex65

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:11 PM

Are they Eastern European or Russian?  I also have a 16th edition Norton's (1973) and it works well for me.



#7 brentknight

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:22 PM

Both volumes I have are in English.  That's another issue with this atlas though.  Basically there's just the title page and no other text.  No index for the charts, no descriptions for the legend, no introduction.  Maybe I'm missing something...  It would be really nice to have some descriptive texts on the opening pages.  The basic star symbols are pretty self explanatory, but the symbols for double/multiple and variables is not clear.

 

If anyone has additional information about these, I'd love it if you would share...

 

 

No deep sky objects, though, so not much use as an observer's atlas.

You are absolutely right there, but even if there were DSO's, the size of the charts is pretty unwieldy (larger than the Deluxe SA 2000) and without an index one has to find the (1950) coordinates of an object and then just search through the pages until you find the correct one.  It took me about 10 minutes to find Orion... 


Edited by brentknight, 28 February 2020 - 02:25 PM.


#8 kb7wox

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 08:04 PM

From the Scanning the Skies catalog:
“Variable star observing and lunar occultation predictions are greatly facilitated.”


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#9 Michael Covington

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:32 PM

There is a removable chart, labeled in Latin, explaining the symbols. Maybe in later editions it was labeled in English.

151217-AtlasEcl1964-500x2763.jpg

 


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#10 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:33 PM

I recently volunteered to help find new homes for the volumes in my club's astronomy library.  The books have all been donated by other club members over the years, but nobody has ever checked any of them out.  A most gracious reward for my efforts was that I got first crack at them.  Two of the items I picked up were the 1972 and 1974 reprints of the Atlas Borealis and Atlas Eclipticalis by Antonin Becvar.

 

attachicon.gifAtlas Borealis.jpg  attachicon.gifAtlas Eclipticalis.jpg

 

These books are huge, but are significantly more manageable than the originals as the charts in the later editions were folded in half.

 

attachicon.gifP1.jpg

 

For scale, the atlas on the left is Uranometria 2000 Deep Sky Atlas: All Sky Edition and on the right is Norton's Star Atlas: Sixteenth Edition.  The actual scale is about the same as the Uranometria, but the charts are on fewer sheets.  These charts came out after Becvar's Atlas of the Heavens, but they don't show any deep sky objects or very many labels whatsoever.  What they do show is stars that had known positions down to at least 9.5 magnitude and the stars are all color coded by spectral class.

 

These two volumes are only 2/3 of the full atlas.  I don't have the third Atlas Australis covering the southern sky from -30° to the pole and so don't have charts that cover the Scorpius/Sagittarius regions and farther south.

 

I don't have much more information on this atlas but wanted to share some pictures of the Orion region.

Wow! I still have both copies. I believe one of them, Atlas Eclipticalis (?) was tanish hard cover.


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#11 Crusty99

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:17 AM

YES--bring back those early atlases. 


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#12 kb7wox

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 09:01 AM

YES--bring back those early atlases. 

But without all that “deep sky” clutter, if you please.smile.gif
 


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#13 KidOrion

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 12:17 PM

Now we just need an atlas that has no stars, just deep-sky objects!


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#14 turtle86

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 02:22 PM

I used to have a complete set of these.  They were beautiful to look at but didn’t get much use, so I sold them a few years ago.  I still have a couple of other star atlases that color-code the stars by spectral class, including the Philip’s Color Star Atlas.




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