University Lowbrow Astronomers

Save Your Money on This One.

by Harry L. Juday
Printed in Reflections: November, 2001.

It well may just be me, but following is a short review on a star atlas I STRONGLY recommend you do not waste your money buying, even a cheap used copy.

THE PHILIPS COLOR STAR ATLAS - EPOCH 2000

by John Cox and Richard Monkhouse, published by George Philip Ltd., in 1991, London, England.

This is presented as an atlas about star color.  It is a large 11 1/4 x 15 1/2 40 page paper covered volume.  The reference material on star color is very basic and certainly not worth obtaining this book for.

For me, the main problem are the charts.  There are 20 major charts, to cover the whole sky, 2 half book general Constellation position charts arranged around the Celestial and Galactic Equators and 12 small area charts showing major stars in selected Constellations/ areas.

The charts seem crudely executed.  (The book states they are computer generated, but does not say from what sources.  They have dot grid lines every 10d dec. and 1 hr. RA, with all names and identifications hand lettered in).

The background color is blue, the Milky Way white.  Stars (to vis. mag 6.75) and non-Stellar objects (some dimmer) are shown in there primary colors and sized for apparent mag.  I have tried using this atlas and found it very confusing for locating and/or identifying almost anything due to the colors.

And all of this can be had for $19.95 U.S.

Q.  Okay, dummy, so why did you buy it?

A.  I had just gotten into Amateur Astronomy and didn’t know any better.

Q.  Well, why are you bothering to tell us about it.

A.  So someone else won’t waste their money like I did.  Also to warn you that after seeing this book, I would be very leery of any item from this company, if in fact they are still in business.

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Copyright © 2013, the University Lowbrow Astronomers. (The University Lowbrow Astronomers are an amateur astronomy club based in Ann Arbor, Michigan).
This page originally appeared in Reflections of the University Lowbrow Astronomers (the club newsletter).
This page revised Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:30 PM.
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