Reflector Book Review:
The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas
The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas
by David Harold and Peter Beroff
HB200 Publications, 1994
P.O. Box 254
Laminated paper covers, 12x16 spiral bound
214 Charts and 250 pages, $89.95
ISBN: 0 646 20356 8
The new atlas by David Herald and
Peter Bobroff, both residents of Australia, is an observer's
atlas with no comparison. Imagine my surprise when my
daughter, Amanda, gave me this marvelous new tool for
my use as a reference in observing and imaging the night
sky from my backyard observatory here in Kansas. Thanks
to Bob Haler and Janet Emerson at Lymax for guiding
her to a present like this for Father s Day.
What makes the The Herald-Bobroff
AstroAtlas so valuable is the way information has
been compressed into easy to understand symbols, making
it unnecessary to go elsewhere to find more details
on an object while in the midst of an observing run.
Like most amateur astronomers, I do not plan in great
detail in advance of an observing session. Due to weather
and the circumstances of my job, I usually don t know
ahead of time when I will be able to use the telescope.
It may be that 2-hour window in the middle of the night,
when I get up and I look outside and notice that the
clouds have gone away.
The The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas
allows the observer to quickly select objects in a particular
part of the sky and determine at a glance the magnitude,
orientation, type, and other key details of the object.
This saves valuable time, especially when imaging with
a CCD. In my case, I am usually looking at galaxies
in search of supernova and am keen to look at face on
spirals and image as many as I can during an observing
run. The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas shows the
type of galaxy as well as its orientation and magnitude.
And the atlas goes down to 15th magnitude, which is
the best range for my work.
There is so much information provided
in The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas, that it will
take a while to get a thorough understanding of the
symbols used in order to gain the maximum utility from
the charts. A separate card is provided to use as a
quick reference to most of the symbols. I am sure it
will be the most used part of the atlas.
In addition, the layout of the atlas
makes it very easy to use. There is a series of charts
of various depth, allowing the user to start out with
a broad visual full sky view (A Charts) and work down
through B (Bright stars), C (9th mag stars and 14th
mag. deep sky objects), D (11th mag. stars and 15th
mag deep sky objects). Then E and F charts are provided
for selected areas of the sky where greater detail is
needed, like the Coma and Virgo clusters and the Magellanic
Clouds. This is an easy to use system, and each chart
shows the deeper chart boundary for quick reference.
The really nice thing about it is that the charts are
in left to right order of R.A., making the facing pages
match up. Anyone who has used other charts knows how
great this is.
In the past, I have used four different
references to accomplish what The Herald-Bobroff
AstroAtlas allows me to do with one. This atlas
will replace the need to use the Bright Star Atlas,
Sky Atlas 2000, Uranometria, and The Deep Sky Field
Guide while at the telescope. These other references
will still have their place, as will the new Millenium
Star Atlas, but The Herald-Bobroff AstroAtlas
will provide everything needed for the on-the-fly observing
sessions so common to all amateurs. I know this tool
will allow me to immediately spend more time observing
and less time trying to find my way around or decide
what to look at next.
Bravo to David and Peter! Well done,
Astronomical Society of Kansas City
Reviewed in the August 1998 issue.