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!


  1. Marc, the SUGster has me thinking all crazy lately with his infectious enthusiasm for astronomy. I had astronomy stuff getting delivered to my house that I didn't even recall ordering. Between his and your banter recently about double stars I guess I ordered the atlas during a less lucid period.
    I'll blame both of you for me now owning this great double star atlas. I've been having a blast persueing the doubles when it clears in western NY. As you know its been pretty miserable for some time.
    Looking forward to doing a VDSO(Virtual Double Star Observation) session with Nevada SUG in august sometime.

  2. Mr.Drive By likes to blame me for his addiction issues - true I like to "inspire" others to observe the whole "spectrum" of what the skies offer and Dbl Stars are not to be missed or overlooked. And when you mix in all the fun variables out there it makes for a wonderful night out without the need for perfect conditions! Now as far are his "less lucid" periods he may need some form of accountability. When I have these my wife says "send it back and give me your credit card"!

    I have both volumes of the "Night Sky Observers Handbook". Both have exhaustive Dbl Star lists and charts. Between this and the Cambridge I feel ready for bear!I love this Atlas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Marc think we did a pretty good tag team on Mr.Drive By!

    Nice write buddy!

  3. Yeah, we tagged him good this time and this write up will just make go further off the deep end.

    Now all we gotta do is a virtual run on the doubles assuming I can get online to do it...