Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

kerrylewis

Interstellarum deep Sky Atlas

Recommended Posts

I received my copy yesterday from Amazon:http://www.amazon.co.uk/interstellarum-Deep-Sky-Atlas-Desk/dp/1107503388/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424340989&sr=1-1&keywords=interstellarum

First impressions are very good. I bought the 'desk' edition rather than the 'field' one which is much more expensive. The pages are still quite stout and it would be OK outdoors I think if conditions were not impossibly wet. It is spiral bound for ease of use. I think that I would still tend to take temporary photocopies of areas of interest and keep the book pristine for cloudy day browsing.

It is large format (A4 squared up if that makes sense) and has about 120 pages of charts. The charts are larger scale than many atlases. It is aimed primarily as a guide for visual use and the size and shape of nebulae, for example, are based on actual observations rather than photographs.

One useful feature is an attempt at indicating, by various shades of colour, how visible an object should be in various sizes of scope. Obviously this is based on dark sky observations but I think it should prove to be useful. There is also, on the actual charts, an indication, where appropriate, of the best recommended filter for an object. There is also a lot of useful information, again, on the charts, on double stars including a little line indicating the angle where the companion is located.

The charts are in sequence for east to west  so that pages follow on rather than jumping around as some atlases so. Obviously north and south of a particular page still has to be indicated by arrows and number showing the relevant page.

There are some even larger scale charts of 'crowded' areas such as parts of Orion and Cygnus, and the southern hemisphere is covered for those 'down under'

I attach a few iPad photos of the key, a typical page and a larger scale chart. I hope the are clear but if not I can try some with the DSLR. Sorry but photos always seem to end up on their sides! I have lost the whole post once so will leave well alone!

I would recommend this book if you want a detailed sky tales - perhaps to supplement a 'pocket' version like the S&T one. 

Kerry

post-28662-0-22521400-1424343722.jpg

post-28662-0-80959800-1424343727.jpg

post-28662-0-09361900-1424343731.jpg

Edited by kerrylewis
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to say that the charts also show stars with known exoplanets. Not likely to see them but interesting all the same!

Kerry 

Edited by kerrylewis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my field edition, works really well in the uh, field. Pages can get stuck together after getting wet but they come apart easily enough. Great atlas for star hopping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking of getting one of these as well as the Pocket Sky Atlas leaves a lot to be desired.

I usually prepare an observing list and print charts from SkyTools 3, but having a decent atlas in the field is important.

Stuart, how do you find the quality in terms of lamination?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry, it may be worth taking it for lamination which should be much cheaper overall than getting the field version...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry, it may be worth taking it for lamination which should be much cheaper overall than getting the field version...

I do in fact have a home laminator which does up to A3. I could laminate some photo copies rather than take the book apart - I don't need to do the southern areas, for example. However, thinking about it, my copier/printer only does up to A4. 

Professional lamination would be too expensive, I thought, but perhaps not?

Kerry 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry this is a very good star atlas. I viewed it at Astrofest and also had the opportunity to talk with Ronald Stoyan the Author. He told me that the desk version could be used outside even if there was dew around. However, he went into great detail about the Field Version which he had put into a tank of water to test the quality of the waterproof material.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry this is a very good star atlas. I viewed it at Astrofest and also had the opportunity to talk with Ronald Stoyan the Author. He told me that the desk version could be used outside even if there was dew around. However, he went into great detail about the Field Version which he had put into a tank of water to test the quality of the waterproof material.

Mark,

Good to know that the field edition is of such quality. Means longevity as well. I think I will save up a bit and go for the field edition...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. This debate reminds me of the one I got involved in on the forum about the Lodestar camera  - colour or mono? The only truly acceptable answer there seemed to be 'get both' but I don't think that's necessary here. I think that the desk edition is right for me given how I would use it, but clearly the publishers are seeking to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the field edition. The increased cost would seem to be worth it if you intend to use it in the field frequently. After all, just consider what you could buy for the same money in astro equipment  - puts it into perspective.

If anyone is considering getting either version, my comments hold true - it is undeniably a superb atlas. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am slightly concerned about the potential loss of some objects from some catalogues as I like going after things at are not very visible. From the online samples it looks very good. Wonder if it could have done with a few more stars? The field atlas just seems a bit too expensive. Pity I didn't get to astro fest and have a look at it then. Maybe I will add it to the "birthday present" list...

Have to get a plastic map holder to keep the dew off I use A4 plastic doc wallets for the printed out atlas I use.

Thanks

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter - the atlas does claim to include objects that are 'not visible in in 12-inch (300mm) telescope aperture'. That may allay some of your fears

kerry  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw both the field and the 'desk' editions. The atlas seems a very good to me. The field edition is quite expensive from my point of view, that's why, if I had to choose I would go for the desk edition. 

I think the change of intensity depending on surface brightness/magnitude is a nice idea to filter objects. 

However, I believe this is more suitable for a home study, in order to create a suitable observation list for the evening/night. I am not so convinced it is effective in the field though as you might struggle to see the faint object not only on the telescope but also on the chart!  :confused:

Anyway, it seems a nice atlas to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks a great atlas. I'd be interested in the desk edition - sadly the field is way beyond my finances. Kerry, thanks for the helpful photos.... is the desk ed. ring bound?

Cheers

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks a great atlas. I'd be interested in the desk edition - sadly the field is way beyond my finances. Kerry, thanks for the helpful photos.... is the desk ed. ring bound?

Cheers

Steve

Yes it is Steve  - lies nice and flat 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Steve - just realised, did you mean ring bound with removable pages like a file? If so, no - it's spiral wire bound as a book but with the ability to lie flat.

Kerry 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My apologies Kerry! Yes I did mean spiral bound :)

Hmmm.... Think this may be a good birthday present, hopefully from my wife. I'll start on the housework right now....

Edit/ Woohoo..... my wife has just ordered it for me! I am a luckylucky boy :)

Edited by ghostdance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My apologies Kerry! Yes I did mean spiral bound :)

Hmmm.... Think this may be a good birthday present, hopefully from my wife. I'll start on the housework right now....

Edit/ Woohoo..... my wife has just ordered it for me! I am a luckylucky boy :)

You are a lucky chappie! Your birthday must be imminent? I'm sure that you'll enjoy it - I have, just turning the pages and planning what to go for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kerry :)

It's a few weeks away so I have to sit on my hands for a bit...

I'm looking forward to seeing how the atlas notes visibility for different apertures. I think it was 4" - 8" -10", so having a 6" I guess I'd have to place my bets in between (then confirm visually of course). I wonder if the atlas lists or codifies light pollution? That would be interesting :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'lamination' of the field edition is perfect. Pages feel, bend and turn almost like paper. Not plasticiky in the least..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, I'd been about to post my thoughts about this having managed to use it a couple of times...

Okay, so I got the field edition. Let's start with the bad:

  • Crikey, but the field edition is expensive!
  • It's actually fairly bulky.
  • A few objects have slightly unconventional 'English' names ("Kapella") - but that's being really picky. And all the catalog numbers seem right, as far as I've seen.
  • I'm not sure I see the point of showing exoplanets. I'll need a much bigger scope for that to become a thing - and I expect that a few might change as the data is reviewed.

Now for the good:

  • For me, it is plenty detailed enough in terms of the number of stars, etc.. I've found finding things with it MUCH easier than the sky pocket atlas. 
  • The grading of objects into different 'bands' of visibility is excellent, and definitely does go deeper than my 10" dob, under good skies can. I doubt I'll ever need a deeper atlas.
  • The display of objects with varying emphasis depending on their visibility also makes it possible to concentrate on things that are achievable. Case in point - my first time using it I was chasing some galaxies in Ursa Major - and failing. When I checked Interstellarum I realised that they were too dim - but that nearby were a couple I could manage - and did.
  • Okay, so maybe a silly thing - but it just plain looks lovely. I do love a good map.
  • I've been pretty careful with it, but the pages do feel waterproof. They're funny - kind of plasticky, but not at the same time.

The grading of objects thing is good enough that I'd describe it as a bit of a "Why aren't they all done this way?" moment.

Is it worth it? Well, if you're just starting, probably not - it's more expensive than my first scope. On the other hand, if you've been stargazing a bit, and you're sure you're going to need a good atlas for the future, it seems an excellent investment.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the desk edition and bought it on evidence of the few pictures Big Stu very kindly posted as I could see its quality. It is the best atlas I have ever seen and though expensive so far after 2months or so I think its money well spent.

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was surprised to see in another thread that someone has had problems with dew with the field edition and has returned it for a refund. Surprising given the cost and the claims made for that edition.

The desk edition is beautiful though and worth every penny, and I'm going to experiment with laminating photocopies for 'field' use.

I now have four different star atlases  - but you can't have too many can you?  Can you?  :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review. I recently bought the same and have found it to be excellent. I'm now mindful of the other poster's comments on pages sticking together - there is a hefty premium for the field edition so it needs to deliver. But it's a beautifully drawn atlas and contributed to a step change in my enjoyment of my observing sessions.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.