The Best Star Atlas

The Best Star Atlas: Must-Have Books?

Introduction 

Hello, astronomy enthusiasts! Looking for a book to buy that will spark your interest in astronomy? 

Or are you already an experienced stargazer who wishes to dig deeper? Whatever the case is, we reviewed a few star atlases for you. 

The problem with taking an interest in astronomy is not finding the best Atlas for oneself. We don’t blame anyone. With the increase of research, there have been tons of books in the market. 

This is where we come to help you, however! After working for 2 weeks straight, we’ve reviewed the best start atlas you need to know! 

Furthermore, we’ve even reviewed books for an average astronomy geek, astrophotographer, both mythology and even astronomy fan. You will at least know what to expect in the books as we also talked about the contents. 

So, let’s get started and find a book suitable for you, shall we? 

Comparison Table

 

Books  Unique Contents (Briefly) Audience
“Turn Left At Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope” Spotting celestial bodies, categorized by seasons.  Suitable for all ages astronomy enthusiasts 
“Star Finder!: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Night Sky” Glow in the dark maps, best gift for kids. It contains a unique star hopping strategy. Suitable for kids 
“National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky” Tips and tricks on stargazing and celestial events Suitable for all ages of people
“2021 Night Sky Almanac: A Month-by-Month Guide to North America’s Skies” Celestial events of 2021, described month by month.  Suitable for all ages of people
“The Astrophotography Sky Atlas” Picking the targets in the sky and lists of objects.  Suitable for adults, especially astrophotographers.
“Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations” Stories about constellations  Suitable for mythology and astronomy fans 
“Norton’s Star Atlas and Reference Handbook: And Reference Handbook” Discover the stars with naked eyes. It Sparks the nostalgia of the old days.  Suitable for old astronomy enthusiasts 

“Turn Left At Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope”

Product Overview

If you’re an experienced stargazer, you already know what to look for in the sky. But, you might “think” that. Since there are various mysteries hidden in the sky unhead and unseen off. 

And for the people who are starting to take an interest to know about astronomy, this book would be an excellent guide. But, the experienced ones also find this book informative too. 

This is the most popular book in astronomical history, having sold over 150,000 copies since its original publication. And, when we checked out the different forums, many enthusiasts spoke about this one. I guess this book just skyrocketed their passion for the night sky. 

So, what is the content that’s making it popular among readers? This one-of-a-kind guide to the night sky demonstrates how to spot a variety of celestial beauties. 

Also, its unique structure of object-by-object spreads depicts how deep-sky objects and planets appear via a tiny telescope. 

Also, this book is categorized by season. So, you know what is the best sight in each season by reading this. In fact, you’ll even know what to look for when the sky is crystal clear. 

One interesting thing is that the authors even go over what you can see with ordinary binoculars.

By reading this book you’ll know whether you’ll be able to view the item under absolutely black skies. Or whether it’s bright enough to see under the somewhat light-polluted sky. 

One of the best things about this book is that spiral binding makes the book suitable for outdoor usage. Also, the book has big pages for your better understanding of the illustrations. 

The writers illustrate what you’ll see through your telescope rather than those lovely Hubble-like images that you won’t view until you have a very large telescope.

And there are detailed instructions on how to find the objects and what you may expect to see.

So, what are you waiting for? Buy the book and start your journey to find the stars! 

Pros

  • Suitable for all ages of readers 
  • Spiral bound book, suitable for outdoor 
  • Great content, you’ll know what to look for in the sky 

Cons 

  • You might not find the objects because the stars pointing out to them are chosen poorly. 

“Star Finder!: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Night Sky”

Product Overview

It appears that this book was written for younger readers, yet it is ideal for geeks of any age who want a practical reference to spotting constellations.

But, if you know a kid who is enthusiastic about learning about the night sky, the book is very handy for them. After all, it’ll feature a useful glow-in-the-dark star chart inside. So, you can see outdoors while gazing and attempting to spot constellations. This book will fascinate kids this way.

Other than that, the constellations are chosen at random and are limited to the northern hemisphere. Since they were chosen randomly, a lot of zodiacs are missing. But you’ll get an idea. 

However, it divides the ones of particular significance into four categories based on the season.

 The approach’s beauty is that it employs a “star-hopping” strategy that enables you to link one constellation to the next. This will allow you to spot patterns without the aid of maps or applications.

Also, you’ll get a new perspective on the Milky Way. As mind-blowing phenomena in the sky are revealed in astonishing clarity.

So, yes, take this thin useful page-turner with you on your out-of-this-world excursion to learn. You will get to know about cosmological wonders, important constellations, and interplanetary knowledge. 

Pros 

  • You’ll know what to look for in the sky each season.
  • It has a unique star-hopping strategy. 
  • Best gift for kids, it has glow-in-the-dark maps. 

Cons 

  • There are not enough pictures for the kids. 
  • A lot of zodiacs are missing in this book. 

 

“National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky”

Product Overview

Does your whole family love stargaze as a bonding activity? Well, good news for you. This book will appeal to aspiring astronomers of all levels among your family members. 

What are the contents that will engage you to read this book? Firstly, you’ll learn about the dark side of the moon. You’ll also get to know how you’ll identify Mars in a planetary lineup. And, you’ll know which constellations have particular sorts of stars twinkling. 

Other than that, you’ll even know tips and techniques for watching the stars with the untrained eye, binoculars, or a telescope. These are provided to help you get the most out of observations and celestial events like eclipses and meteor showers. 

The book contains photographs and visuals illustrating cosmic phenomena like black holes, solar flares, and supernovas in a convenient style.

Lastly, we could say that this book is not for starters, you won’t feel like it’s a child’s book. It’s a super informative book for your stargazing hobby! 

Pros 

  • This book is written for all ages of people. 
  • You will learn all the tricks and tips to understand celestial bodies.
  • You will see the illustration of cosmic phenomena.
  • You will learn cool facts about astronomy. 

Cons 

  • If you’re an amateur this book is probably not what you’re looking for. 
  • It has small fonts, so it’s hard to read this book. 

“2022 Night Sky Almanac: A Month-by-Month Guide to North America’s Skies”

Product Overview

Looking for a perfect gift to give someone? This is perfect for any astronomy lover in 2021. When we looked at this atlas for the first time, we observed this one as a great, small book with excellent color photography. 

It even had clear illustrations. Overall, this book’s information is more compact and aesthetically portrayed. This is quite ideal for someone new to the pastime.

And, what exactly can you expect in this book? Starting off, the front portion contains a lot of information on fundamental measurements. Here, you’ll find the optics, stars, constellations, the Moon, the Sun, and Planets, among other topics.

However, in the second part of the book, you’ll know how the sky looks from one month to another month. 

Because of its small size, it’s ideal for carrying on an “Astro-vacation” or simply stargazing in the garden. This is a must-have book specially made for 2021 night skies. You won’t be disappointed. 

Pros 

  • Easily the best astronomy book for 2021 
  • Visual representation is really concise
  • You’ll get a great collection of information 

Cons 

  • This will be of no use after 2021 ends
  • It doesn’t have detailed information so an amateur might not understand at a first glance. 

“The Astrophotography Sky Atlas”

Product Overview

Are you an astrophotographer? Whether you’re new to this hobby or you’re already an expert, this book is a must-have for you. “The Astrophotography Sky Atlas” will help you pick your targets and organize your imaging with details on practically every imaginable photographic object in the night sky.

You can open any page of this Atlas and you’ll undoubtedly uncover hundreds of intriguing targets you didn’t know existed. The graphs are accompanied by extensive tables that include meaningful comments.

Also, this book is ideal for astrophotographers seeking nebulae, clusters, and galaxies. Here, the coloring of nebulae on the maps is amazingly creative and beneficial for planning and framing. 

That said, if you’re a seasoned astrophotographer who’s seen most of the obvious sights, this atlas is a must-have. It will rekindle your excitement and serve as a source of inspiration for years to come.

Get this atlas straight immediately if you’re new to astrophotography! It will save you time and effort by directing you to the most enjoyable items to work on early in your imaging career.

Pros 

  • The ultimate best for the astrophotographers 
  • It will help the readers to pick the targets
  • There’s a detailed index of the objects you do not want to miss 
  • This book is easy to read and understand

Cons 

  • The visual magnitudes are not listed 
  • It’s paperback, so if you’re a hardback fan, you would be disappointed 

“Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations”

Product Overview

This book is suitable for both astronomy and mythology lovers. Added to that, the stunningly drawn “Penguin Hardcover” takes readers on a journey into the night sky. 

From there, the readers can explore the universe of stories that may be found within the stars. 

The night sky is teeming with gods and goddesses, animals, and legendary creatures for those who can comprehend it. Here, it’s a never-ending carnival in the form of gleaming stars.

Besides, this book tells all the stories written by the stars. “A hunter rushes in a chase with his hounds at his heels, a sea monster threatens a lady in trouble, and a pair of twins live eternally within this jet-black canvas dotted with white dots”.

Reading the book, you can explore each of the night sky’s eighty-eight constellations through magnificent drawings and vivid descriptions. 

These depictions will remain in readers’ imaginations long after they’ve finished the book and gone outdoors on a starry night. From here, they’ll be leaping between periods, civilizations, and cultures.

Pros 

  • Best book for people who are interested in astronomical stories. 
  • This book will enhance readers’ imagination.
  • Provides stories that enhance the creativity of readers. 

Cons 

  • If you’re looking for a thorough overview of the mythology of the constellations, this book is not for you. 
  • This book doesn’t talk about the mythology of different cultures. 

 

“Norton’s Star Atlas and Reference Handbook: And Reference Handbook”

Product Overview

Want to take a trip down memory lane? This book is bound to make you nostalgic about the old time. Originally published back in 1910, “Norton’s Star Atlas” is still relevant to this day. 

So, why didn’t this book’s popularity decreased over time? Well, the book’s content is amazing and has improved a lot since the last edition. Here, the editors really put effort into this to make it more appealing to the readers. Hence, the 20th edition won’t disappoint you. 

First off, this book starts with a thorough examination of time and celestial coordinate systems. With that, the new higher-contrast moon maps are a significant improvement over prior versions’ washed-out imagery. 

Here, the 16-star charts, published in the two-disk/six gore configuration known to fans of earlier Norton’s editions, are at the center of the atlas. 

These maps are more legible than ever before, with the stars taking precedence over labels, gridlines, and other visual elements. And these charts were printed with a substantial gutter margin to prevent trapped stars. 

The stars near the celestial equator were trapped out of vision down in the book’s spine.

Now, let’s talk about the book’s contents in case you don’t own other editions of this book. Each of the meticulously created maps is accompanied by extensive tables of data on noteworthy things for observation.

Here, the unique and authoritative reference manual that precedes the maps covers timekeeping and positional measures on the celestial sphere.  

Also, the book talks about the Sun, Moon, and other Solar System planets. It even provides an idea about the telescopes and other equipment for seeing and photographing the sky; and stars, nebulae, and galaxies.

You can hand this to someone as a gift, just for nostalgia! 

Pros 

  • 20th edition is better than other editions  
  • You don’t have to own a telescope, this book covers all the stars visible to the naked eye 
  • The map covers timekeeping and positional measures 

Cons 

  • In dewy weather, the pages will get damp 
  • The Milky Way has no stars or deep-sky objects written on the first print of the book. 

Buying Guide

We’re providing a guide for your convenience so you know what qualities to look for. You’ll need to know these before you buy an astronomy book. So let’s get started- 

Fonts 

When you’re choosing a book on astronomy, it’s important that you choose a book with a big font. At least choose a book with fonts that’s easy on your eyes. You’ll read this at night under the sky which means there will be a lack of light, so big fonts will help you. 

The Pages 

It’s important to choose a book with pages that don’t get damaged with water easily. So, in humid weather, your book’s pages won’t absorb water. 

The Book’s Contents

When you’re buying a book, know if the contents will serve your interest. The 7 books we’ve reviewed have different categories of audiences. 

For example astrophotographers, both mythology and astronomy lovers, people who are new to astronomy. So, first, know what you’re looking for in a book then buy it. 

The Verdict 

Now that you have a complete idea about the astronomy books’ contents, it’s time to conclude our review on the best star atlas. I hope you choose one of the books listed in this blog. Let us know how you liked it. Take care!

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