Reviews - What do customers think about Millenium Star Atlas?
Millenium Star Atlas PAPERBACK Edition Aug 26, 2007
Great reference star atlas as expected. Would recommend that anyone who orders this should also have a copy of the pocket star atlas (Sky & telecope publication, also available at this site) as well. In addition, if you are using an atlas outdoors in adverse weather, the Sky Atlas 2000, laminated edition is great to have. Only complaint was that of "false" advertising, in that the description of the item stated that it was a hardcover edition, which is not.
Millennium Star Atlas Jul 16, 2006
The overall quality is good and it was received as described by the book seller. However, Volume 3 is missing 129 sky charts. It seems to be a publishing error as it doesn't look like any pages were removed from the binding. Charts #1070 to #1196 simply do not exist in this Atlas! Can't find them anywhere! RA 19h00m to 23h20m and Dec +21 to +27 are included in the missing charts.
It's what an atlas should be Jun 30, 2006
Given that this atlas is the first to show stars to 11th magnitude, it is a pleasure to see it so well executed.
Each of the three volumes covers one gore (strip of sky from pole to pole) of 8 hours of right ascension. This arrangment has the advantage of keeping the part of the sky visible at a given time in the same volume.
Roll the drums! Write the headline: someone in the star atlas business actually gets the message. Sequencing charts in ascending right ascension is backwards. After decades of frustration, users finally have an atlas with charts sequenced in descending order of right ascension. One has to try it both ways to appreciate the difference. In atlases with north at the top and charts in ascending order, users are constantly fighting against their instinct as to which way to turn the page on reaching the edge of a chart. But in the Millennium, the user who reaches the right edge of a chart simply continues rightward to the next page; from the left edge, leftward to the previous page. This arrangement makes navigating the charts so intuitive that within the gore the numbers of adjacent charts at the left and right edges are unnecessary and have been omitted. Atlas writers who unthinkingly follow the tradition of ordering charts in ascending right ascension should take note.
Charts are clear and detailed without being crowded. Top and bottom of each page give the numbers of the adjacent charts; this greatly simplifies navigating through the atlas. A minor complaint is that adjacent chart information does not extend to charts in other volumes. Charts at the edges of a gore should say at their edges something like "Continues on Vol II Chart 235."
A measure of how good this atlas is is that other suggestions for improvement are merely speculative. The charts could maybe be bigger to cover more area and simplify navigation, maybe like the Sky Atlas 2000.0, but would bigger pages make the atlas awkward to use? Would they make it impracticable to print charts on both sides of the page? Numbered tabs for quick chart access are helpful, but are they practicable for an atlas which contains so many pages? Would tabs every 25 to 50 pages be helpful? Hard to say.
What is not hard to say is that this atlas is a superbly useful work.
It works nicely in combination with the Pocket Sky Atlas. Use the Pocket for quick basic finding and the Millennium for going deep in pursuit of the challenging stuff.
A Jewel in the Crown Apr 4, 2006
The MSA is an astronomer's delight, and the 'bargain' soft-cover edition was well worth waiting for. this site's helpful and sympathetic management of the production/delivery delay experienced by some (myself included) has been much appreciated, and I offer them my thanks.
This splendidly resourced and detailed work is the 'jewel in the crown' of star atlases. Its virtues are many: the quality of paper and clarity of print impress one immediately on opening. As does, after a little study, the ease of navigation in this large-scale work. Then there is the delight of exploring the 'on-map' detail: info on variable star amplitudes and types, proper motion of speedy stars, double-star separations, l.y. distances of nearer stars, in addition to all the usual symbolic information on galaxies, nebulae, clusters etc. And of course magnitudes down to V.11.
Cloudy night frustration is vastly eased by the hours of happy research and study to be enjoyed turning the pages of text (admirably lucid) and atlas, so that one might well be tempted to save such valuable volumes for indoor use. Not so: the very manageable page size (13" x 9 1/4") ensures a comfortable efficiency alongside the telescope. It is, to my mind, the most versatile of formats.
If it is a jewel, it must be set in the crown. None of us travels far along the astronomical road before discovering that the resources we gradually gather are much less duplicative, far more complementary. This is essentially true with star atlases. Thus, as a 'setting' for the MSA most will require resources such as the SkyAtlas 2000.0 to give the wide-angle view (though, interestingly, its wide-format makes it not the easiest of tools in the field), and Uranometria 2000 which provides a heftier supply of deep-sky objects in addition to its invaluable DS Field Guide.
Conversely, I suspect that owners of these, and other, excellent tools of the trade are not going to be satisfied so long as this ultimate star gem eludes their grasp.
My standard star atlas I judge all others by Mar 27, 2006
Although there are a LOT of features I would like to add to the *MSA*, as I call it, it is top-of-the-line for me. What I really like is its generous scale, nearly the same as the focal plane of a F.L.-80" telescope, such as the popular 8" f/10 SCT, and its magnitude limit of about 11, which was about that of my very 1st real telescope, a 3" f/10 reflector, back in 1965. The index maps make it fast and easy to find anything in the sky in the MSA. An added bonus for me is the over 1500 charts, with the white space all around them an irrestible temptation for my inveterate notes and musings. Now if only the stars were colored and the Milky Way contours were shown...