Atlas of the Messier Objects: Highlights of the Deep Sky

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Overview


• Simply THE most comprehensive guide to the Messier Objects ever published

• Combines detailed historical, astrophysical, statistical and observing information for each object with stunning astrophotos and telescope sketches

• Reproduces the text of Messier’s famous catalog, along with biographies of Messier and his contemporaries

• Compares modern views with historical sketches from Lord Rosse, John Herschel and other illustrious figures

The 110 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies of Messier’s famous catalog are among the most popular of all the deep sky objects and are beautiful targets for amateur observers of all abilities. This stunning new atlas presents a complete and lively account of all of the Messier objects. Details for each object include a thoroughly researched history of its discovery, historical observations and anecdotes, the latest scientific data detailing its astrophysical findings, and descriptions for observers to view the objects, be it with the naked eye or a large telescope. This atlas has some of the world’s finest color astrophotos, labeled photos pointing to hidden details and neighboring objects, as well as historical sketches by well-known figures alongside new deep sky drawings. Quite simply, this is THE most far-reaching and beautiful reference on the Messier objects there has ever been, and one that no observer should be without!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a beautiful, welcome addition to any library ... Highly recommended." - CHOICE

"This large and beautifully reproduced volume includes colour pictures of all the Messier objects, primarily made by very professional amateur astronomers. It’s interesting that eight of the first fifteen objects in the catalogue are globular clusters, magnificently shown here. In many cases Ronald Stoyan, the German observer/author of this book, has included his own drawings of the objects, made with a variety of telescopes but mostly with a 14-inch Newtonian reflector. These alone make a fascinating historical point: many of Stoyan’s drawings of galaxies indeed reveal their spiral structure, which strongly implies that William Herschel could have anticipated Lord Rosse in discovering spiral structure if he had used his giant 40-ft reflector with its 48-inch speculum mirror to study the brighter nebulae in detail. The front matter in the book includes the most extensive biography of Messier, his catalogue, and his telescopes, as well as a translation of Messier’s original descriptions of the objects. Included from Messier’s log book is a wonderful colour drawing of a figure observing with a reflecting telescope, presumably a self portrait with the 8-inch reflector of the Royal Observatory." - Journal for the History of Astronomy

"The images illustrating the objects are some of the best I have seen. This book could easily have become a collection of “eye candy” if the accompanying text had not been so well written and organized. The most obvious illustrations are the astrophotos that dominate each entry. A few of these are from the Hubble Space Telescope or professional observatories, but the overwhelming majority have been taken by amateur astronomers, making the book a showcase for the work of astro imagers. Some of these images are also reproduced in an inverted (black and white) format to better illustrate certain structures and features of their subjects. Double and variable stars in clusters, as well as other objects likely to be found in the field of view, are labeled for easy location by observers. Where these are numerous, a table lists them for easy reference. In addition to these stunningly beautiful illustrations are sketches made by the principle author at the eyepiece of a 14” reflector, and these illustrations give the reader a clear idea of the differences between images and the eyepiece experience. Illustration of the book goes a step farther by reproducing many sketches made during historic observations by the likes of Lord Rosse and John Herschel. ... It’s a visual treat into the bargain, adding a dimension of sheer enjoyment usually lacking in such books. Atlas of the Messier Objects has quickly become an important reference that effectively supplements the existing material in my Messier library. It is, indeed, worthy of a place on the over-burdened bookshelf." - Cloudy Nights

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521895545
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Pages: 370
  • Sales rank: 711,094
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Stoyan is editor-in-chief of Interstellarum, one of Germany's main astronomy magazines. He was the founding director of the German deep sky organization 'Fachgruppe Deep-Sky', and has authored and coauthored six books on practical astronomy.

Stefan Binnewies is a leading astrophotographer and travels around the world to get the best shots. He has worked on several amateur observatory projects, including helping to establish the Capella Observatory near Windhoek, Namibia.

Susanne Freidrich is an editor for Interstellarum and a visiting scientist at Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial physics. A trained astrophysicist, she has been observing the sky both visually and photographically for more than 25 years.

Klaus-Peter Schroeder is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Guanajauto, Mexico. An avid amateur astronomer and photographer since youth, he has published several books on astrophotography and is a regular contributor writing for amateur astronomy magazines.

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Table of Contents

Preface; How to use this book; The life of Charles Messier; The observations of Charles Messier; The catalog of Charles Messier; Statistics of the Messier objects; Observation of the Messier objects; Photography of the Messier objects; The objects themselves; Glossary; List of figures; Table of sources.
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Customer Reviews

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