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Atlas mania (was Re: (IAAC) Obj: Basel 11B)



>Lew,
>I adore Millenium.  I don't have to keep switching volumes
>as you cross the equator.  The stars are not binned, but
>instead plotted in a continuous range of sizes according
>to VISUAL magnitude.
This sounded LOVELY, Sue - I wasn't aware of the improved magnitude
plotting. One of the clubs I belong to (ATMs of Boston) actually just
purchased one - which was easy because several of its editors were club
members. :) I'll have to have a closer look next time I'm at the ATMs
Clubhouse.
I'm with you on the star-hopping aids. One of the things that REALLY sold
me on the Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas was all those little symbolic notations
you HATE. :) In particular, almost all the stars are marked with a tiny
white tick mark to show their spectral type: this is INVALUABLE at the
eyepiece, because you know star colors... Especially if you're too cheap or
tool-challenged to put anything besides a Telrad on your big Dob (like me
:>).
I also really like the little tick marks telling you whether a nebula is
emission, reflection or both (this is handy for picking filters), and
whether a galaxy is elliptical, spindle, spiral, barred, etc. This is GREAT
for teasing out (or imagining ;>) details. Same goes for the cluster
richness marks, globular condensation marks, double-star orbits, etc.
My only beefs with the Herald-Bobroff are:
a) it plots many faint objects without IDs (especially UGCs);
b) it doesn't plot SHAPES for any diffuse nebulae, even the Brighties;
c) it doesn't have enough "D" charts for deep (>9th mag) detail. The ones
it has in the Northern sky are GREAT (Virgo cluster, Orion, Auriga, Sag),
but it leaves some out that I really miss (like the Coma cluster); and,
d) it doesn't identify enough interesting variables.
Clear skies!
Lew