The Night Sky Atlas
combines reliable and informative text on how and what to observe with clear and accurate star maps by renowned stellar cartographer Wil Tirion. This is a highly practical and wonderfully informative solar system/star atlas. It’s great for beginning backyard astronomers who want to start using binoculars or a small telescope to observe inside the solar system and out.
Sturdy binding makes this large (8.25” x 11.75”) 128-page softbound volume suitable for outdoor use. It has cover flaps that can be used as page markers. The sewn binding allows the book to be opened flat.
The book begins with several informative chapters on general astronomy and the advantages and disadvantages of different types of observing equipment (binoculars and telescopes). It then presents the whole sky in a series of six star charts, showing stars down to magnitude 5.5, the faintest generally visible to the unaided eye from a reasonably dark sky observing site. The star charts are drawn with black stars on a white background, allowing observers to pencil in their own observations. The high quality paper can withstand the repeated use of an eraser. Opposite each map is a photo-realistic image that shows how the same portion of sky looks to the naked eye, allowing less-experienced observers to quickly find specific areas of interest. The maps can be used for planning observations, navigating from one part of the sky to another, and for a quick reference guide.
Other features include:
a full set of 12 seasonal charts which tell you which constellations can be seen in January, May, and September in both the northern and southern hemispheres;
four large scale maps of the lunar quadrants, with over 500 features labeled, plus 19 photos of the most interesting areas and considerable descriptive text;
information on observing the Sun, planets, eclipses, meteors, and atmospheric phenomena such as auroras, with much descriptive text and 45 photos, drawings, maps, and charts; and
forty charts of individual constellations showing the interesting deep sky targets in each, all illustrated with detailed descriptions and color photographs. The 40 deep sky maps identify double stars, star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, and more. In addition to the 40 constellation charts and fascinating descriptive material, this 54-page section contains 197 photos, drawings, and lists covering the deep space wonders described.
A comprehensive index provides the location of the information for all the night sky objects and features covered in the atlas.
Reviewers have been uniform in their praise. According to one, “Boasts a wealth of information . . . excellent array of photographs that facilitate the learning process and bring the book to life.”
Another said “An ideal portable reference for backyard astronomers. This atlas combines clear, accurate star maps with reliable and informative text.”
Yet another said “A concise introduction to the night sky suitable for the beginning stargazer . . . The text is clear and easy to read . . . For beginning observers. Summing Up: Recommended.”
And the Astronomical Society of the Pacific said “Combines clear, accurate star maps with reliable and informative text. Sturdy binding makes it suitable for outdoor use.”
All in all, The Night Sky Atlas is an ideal portable reference for beginning backyard astronomers. The author, Robin Scagell, has also written Stargazing with a Telescope, which we also offer, and five other astronomy titles.