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Show Us Your Historic Star Maps


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I wonder how many SGL'ers have got historic star maps of some description?

Here's a picture of the Skalnate Pleso Atlas Coeli (Antonin Becvar, 1962). When I got Burnham's Celestiial Handbooks I noticed that he referred to this map and to Norton's Star Atlas so I went looking for a copy of each. Norton's Star Atlas (I got the 16th Edition, 1973) was easy enough to get hold of but this took a long time to find! Both are Epoch 1950.0 maps. The Atlas Coeli is my favorite map - totally impractical for the field and out of date but great to pore over and as much art as a map - it was printed from hand-drawn originals.

I have since had half an eye on other old star maps but will try not to get drawn in to buying any more - it seems that sometimes really obscure things come up for sale at huge prices!

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I wonder how many SGL'ers have got historic star maps of some description? Here's a picture of the Skalnate Pleso Atlas Coeli (Antonin Becvar, 1962). When I got Burnham's Celestiial Handbooks I n

1881 is the date on this lovely book ("Half Hours with te Stars"), salvaged from my great aunt's house, although not sure where she got it from:    

My old Norton's 1959 Edition from my teenage years. On the text page on the left you can see my pencil crosses marking doubles that I saw (presumably - I don't remember!). Not bad for a 3" (approx) 'z

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I'd not seen that before either; there are lots of old star maps out there, and as you say they cross from being simply useful in astronomy to being a unique form of art. As such, they then have multiple audiences and the second hand price of them goes skywards. 

James

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When I was a teenager I had the 'Constellations' book by Antonin Becvar (I managed to get a  replacement used copy in perfect condition a couple of years ago),and I can remember always wanting a copy of the 'Atlas Coeli'.

Of course this was way before the internet,so books had to be ordered from a bookshop then.

Somehow,I doubt that my local bookshop could have sourced such a treasure in the 1970's!

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My old Norton's 1959 Edition from my teenage years. On the text page on the left you can see my pencil crosses marking doubles that I saw (presumably - I don't remember!). Not bad for a 3" (approx) 'zoom' refractor on a rickety wooden tripod.

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On 2/28/2016 at 10:58, kerrylewis said:

My old Norton's 1959 Edition from my teenage years. On the text page on the left you can see my pencil crosses marking doubles that I saw (presumably - I don't remember!). Not bad for a 3" (approx) 'zoom' refractor on a rickety wooden tripod.

 

 

 

Very impressive - without computers and without the easier maps, better scopes, and all the information that we have available today it must have taken a lot more effort and skill to find anything up there!

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On 27 February 2016 at 23:36, Paz said:

I wonder how many SGL'ers have got historic star maps of some description?

Here's a picture of the Skalnate Pleso Atlas Coeli (Antonin Becvar, 1962). When I got Burnham's Celestiial Handbooks I noticed that he referred to this map and to Norton's Star Atlas so I went looking for a copy of each. Norton's Star Atlas (I got the 16th Edition, 1973) was easy enough to get hold of but this took a long time to find! Both are Epoch 1950.0 maps. The Atlas Coeli is my favorite map - totally impractical for the field and out of date but great to pore over and as much art as a map - it was printed from hand-drawn originals.

I have since had half an eye on other old star maps but will try not to get drawn in to buying any more - it seems that sometimes really obscure things come up for sale at huge prices!

IMAG8936.thumb.jpg.42d610cbf1ebfd4ee4d87
 

Snap.....this is mine,given to me by a friend,lovely atlas

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  • 1 month later...

I've got a wall-chart dating from (I think) the mid-70s, that was given away with the Daily Telegraph. When I got my 'new' edition of Norton, I gave away my old one to the daughter of the family who were then living next door, as she was very interested in astro.

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  • 3 years later...
On 05/04/2016 at 21:22, FenlandPaul said:

1881 is the date on this lovely book ("Half Hours with te Stars"), salvaged from my great aunt's house, although not sure where she got it from:

 

 

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I've actually got a later copy of that book, reproduced fairly recently..it's a great fireside winter read👍😊 

Dave

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd like to share 3 of my atlas with you, and would like more info on the first two, if anyone has more info on them.

This first one is a 1967 Smithsonian Press published photographic chart of the LMC giving position and details of variables and many NGC objects, and catalogues of clusters I haven't heard of before!

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The second atlas is the Stellarium, this is in a folder but there is no date anywhere to be seen. I'm guessing it is of the same era as the LMC chart?

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I also have the 1969 SAO catalogue.

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Any further knowledge on these, original availability and cost etc greatly welcome.

Thanks for looking,

 

Stu

 

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Edited by Stu Todd
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Stu,

I had these .....

There's a matching Small Magellanic Cloud photographic atlas...

The Atlas Stellarum is one of the Hans Vehrenberg series of Atlases circa 1965. (I had both the north and south photographic and the atlas of selected areas I and II) These were advertised in S&T $30 each.

Other popular atlases of the time I had were the Borealis, Eclipticalis, Australis series by Becvar ( in S&T for $37.50 the set in 1965) and his Skalnate Pleso Atlas of the Heavens - S&T $9.73

These and many mor were in my collection for many years...........

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Here are my Smithsonian Star Atlas and C Papadopoulos 3 volume Photographic Star Atlas. Both much used before Planetarium software and plate solving, not that the 3rd volume Sothern Skies got used at all.

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Regards Andrew 

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On 27/02/2016 at 23:36, Paz said:

Here's a picture of the Skalnate Pleso Atlas Coeli (Antonin Becvar, 1962).

I had the Atlas Coeli in the 1970s but gave it away around 1991. I still have Vol 2 - the catalogue that accompanies it. Not a very interesting read I must admit 🙂

The sack cloth cover always amused me too. Maybe reading it was supposed to be like wearing sack cloth 🙂

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Edited by JeremyS
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In digging out the Coeli Catalogue,  I came across my first copy of Norton's. 1973 edition given to me by my parents that same year. It was well worn!

Patrick Moore was on the revision board of that edition and he signed it for me when he came to open the observatory at my school.

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26 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I also enjoy looking at my copy of Hans Vehrenberg's Atlas of Deep Sky Objects. Film photography at its peak!

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I have it too and used to dream of building a Schmidt camera. I still think the black and white images stand up well to the modern colour images.

Regards Andrew 

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That reminds me I also have this. It has 600 galaxies The plates and filters used were intended to give a uniform common representation of their colours.

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Again beauty on every page.

Regards Andrew 

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