What is the most highly recommended star chart/atlas available for purchase?

I am in the market for a star chart, but particularly wanting a star atlas as well so that I can familiarize myself with the stars and various astronomical related subjects. I'm looking for something that I can buy that will be highly relevant and informative.

Please give suggestions, not websites with books available. I can do that just as well, but what I really need is expertise regarding these books.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas is the best general-purpose star atlas. It shows over 30,000 stars, down to magnitude 7.6, and about 1600 deep sky objects. The compact format makes it easy to handle. It's the only common star atlas that shows constellation stick figures, which many beginners find particularly helpful. I find it useful as both a general reference and for finding things at the telescope. I bring a larger, more detailed atlas to the telescope, but only consult it when I'm having a hard time tracking something down.

    As a general introduction to stargazing I'd suggest Nightwatch, by Terence Dickinson. It has information about general astronomy, amateur stargazing and amateur equipment, plus a partial star atlas with numerous points of interest.

    Everyone should also have a planisphere, to show what's in the sky at any given time.

  • GeoffG
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I'm a star atlas junkie, and own just about all of them. My absolute favourite is the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas from Sky Publishing. This is on a convenient scale and is really well laid out so that constellations don't break over pages. And it's only $20!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This site reviews quite a number of star atlases:


    There are also lots of charts available online , like the Your Sky charts under Solar System Live, and free down-loadable software planetarium programs like Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel (yes, an English version is available).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Astronomical Calendar by Guy Ottewell, yearly for $30 from Sky Publishing Co. No pretty monthly pix, but star charts, planet, comet, meteor shower, moon, sun, eclipse, asteroid, space exploration info galore, illuminating illustrations, makes astronomy easy.

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  • 1 decade ago


    The Night Sky Observer's Guide, Volume 1 and 2

    Burnham's 3 volume set

    For a do it yourself star chart there are several on the internet available for free download. Like this one on the cloudynights.com forum down to magnitude 7.


  • 1 decade ago

    There is a program called 'skymap' that we used in my astronomy class that has all of that stuff on it and lets you set the coordinates of where you live and the time so you can see the stars as they are from you're location and you can right click on any object and it will tell you what it's called and give you all of the astronomical information about it.


  • As everyone's given great suggestions, I'll just mention to get one with a spiral binding for taking into the field. The reason should be obvious.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    pocket sky atlas

    sky atlas 2000.0

    later: i own psa and use it the most. i use sky atlas 2000.0 for more detailed stuff in the field, and use my copies of uranometria 2000 and millenium sky atlas at home for the deepest work, like analysis of pictures i've taken.

    psa is handy and cheap. buy it first. sky atlas 2000.0 is beautiful. buy it next.

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