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Star Atlas Recommendations

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davidjayjackson's picture
Star Atlas Recommendations


I'm looking for recommendation for a Star Atlas? Sky and Telescope offers two: Pocket Atlas and Sky Atlas 2000.0  ?  What other ones come to mind?





pukemaru's picture
Star Atlas Recommendation

Hi David

It depends what you want to use it for (naked eye? binocular? finder charts? etc) and what sort of limiting magnitude you would like. 

Kind regards

Stephen [HSP]

SET's picture
star atlas

Hi David,

I like the Sky Atlas 2000 or the Uranometria 2000. I do agree that it depends on what you want to use them for. If for variables, neither of these have many, if any variables marked. However, for deep sky objects, they are great. For variables, the now out of print AAVSO Variable Star Atlas is great. I still use mine often. However, do not use any of the comp star magnitudes on the charts, the magnitudes are out dated. I use it as a finder for many stars, then use the charts from VSP.  Works great. AstroMart often has atlases listed in their classifieds.


Chris Stephan   SET

Wooster, OH

Herr_Alien's picture
Just for a constellation-wide view

When it comes to aiming the telescope to a certain region of a constellation in order to find a variable star, I use this:

I use printed screens of it, and do an initial aiming of the binoculars/telescope using those. Then usually I manage to find asterisms un my field of view that match some from the dedicated AAVSO charts.

The app is not yet fully featured, but it satisfies my needs.


spp's picture
Star Atlas

For casual star gazing I think it's hard to beat the Pocket Sky Atlas. 

For locating more difficult targets I print finder charts in advance using Guide9.  It's nice to be able to have a printed 5 degree inverted chart for a straight through finder, then and 1 or 2 degree mirror reversed chart for a refractor or cass with a diagonal. 

Charts printed from planetarium software really help when you'll looking for faint comets or minor planets since you can print charts with the object's path and date/time ticks.  For a close asteroid "fly by"  software based charts can be made accurate for your exact location.  This is very helpful for finding a faint, close, fast moving object.

I much prefer a printed custom chart (from Guide or other software) rather than using a computer or tablet at the telescope.  For me the screen is always too bright.



davidjayjackson's picture
Thanks for all the advice.  I

Thanks for all the advice.  I appreciate it.

pukemaru's picture
Star Charts

If you want a good online set of star charts, you can't go past Taki's Star Charts. These go down to mag 8.5 and cover the whole sky. It can be accessed at

Taki has this to say about this set:
I decided that the next star atlas would be a substitute of Sky Atlas 2000.0, because Sky Atlas 2000.0 is too big (charts unfold to 21x16") for using at telescope. I like the format of Uranometria 2000. Smaller format is easier to be used at a telescope. Combination with my earlier star atlas will be a useful tool for deep sky observation. The same projection method and symbols are used in the both atlases. Of course, the new star atlas is free!


Stephen [HSP]


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