Wednesday, July 29, 2009
An Atlas for the Struve Double Hunters...The CDSA
This was Drive-By's idea, he got it first I think but I will have to ask SUG if he got it first. But anyway...There are two "killer" DSO (Deep Sky Objects) star atlas's. They are the Uranometria 2000.0 and the Sky Atlas 2000.0 and their respecitve resource guides. For shear volume of stars, there is the out-of-print (WHY??) Millennium Star Atlas. One of the best compact atlas's is the Pocket Sky Atlas, again another wonderful atlas. Norton's is a classic, and the original Cambridge Star Atlas too is another wonderful atlas to work from.
What about double stars? Well, James Mullaney and uranographer extrodinaire, Wil Tirion have teamed up to make a very impressive and exhausitive atlas for the double star hunters....The Cambridge Double Star Atlas with an exhausitive "hit list" and a great amount of detail down to 7.5 mag or fainter. An excellent companion to the traditional DSO favourites like the Uranometria and Sky Atlas 2000.0. However, the CDSA does have DSO's listed but it is minimized to keep the clutter down on the atlas. Some may view this as a bit of a negative since the smaller Pocket Sky Atlas has more DSO's. Not so though, as the beauty of this atlas are the various labels pointing the observer to a double star. It's built for telescopes of all aperture and some of these doubles will require pristine, steady skies and excellent, collimated optics.
Structurally it is typical Tirion much like the layout of the Sky Atlas 2000.0 and Uranometria, a sort of "standard feel" to it. DSO's are labeled in colour as is the Milky Way in traditional "Blue" much like the desk and deluxe editions of the larger Sky Atlas 2000.0. Double stars are labeled in green with their appropriate discoverer/catalogue
Coupled with Sissy Haas' Double Stars For Small Telescopes the CDSA will prove to be invaluable as it takes a lot of the guess work out. Are you a double star hunter? Get this atlas!