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
‘I received your book and must say that it is absolutely beautiful! You have created an amazing review of the Messier objects. Congratulations on a breathtaking publication!’ - Phil Harrington, author of Star Ware and Touring the Universe through Binoculars

‘Ronald Stoyan’s Atlas of the Messier Objects should be required reading for amateur astronomers. Its impressive content, textually and visually, makes it a definitive work on the catalog and its objects. Extensive discussions of the catalog’s formulation, history, and meaning precede a stunning gallery of all the objects along with nearly exhaustive historical, astrophysical, and observational discussions for each object. Numerous high-quality photographs and eyepiece drawings accompany the text. This book should be on the shelf of every observer, and deserves wide distribution in the United States market.’ - David Eicher, Editor-in-Chief, Astronomy

‘Atlas of the Messier Objects is more comprehensive, detailed, and beautiful than any other book showcasing the objects cataloged by Charles Messier. The art of observing is practiced as much with the mind as with the eye, and this book gathers into one volume diverse aspects that both enrich the experience and serve as a valuable reference. No other book does such a masterful job of gathering all that is fascinating about the Messier objects and weaving it into a book that is both so enlightening and handsome.’ - Susan French, author of Celestial Sampler: 60 Small-scope Tours for Starlit Nights

‘Everything a book should be. Beautifully published on excellent paper and very comprehensive. Certainly the most comprehensive book on the Messier objects that has been written to date.’ - Stewart Moore, Director, Deep Sky section, British Astronomical Association

"Not another book about Messier's catalog’ you might think. This would be completely wrong as you have never seen one like this. Simply put, this is EXTREMELY complete! Why have you never seen a book like this? Well, imagine the result merging books such as The Messier Album from Mallas & Kreimer, The Messier Objects by O'Meara, Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters by Glyn Jones. ‘A glorious chaotic mess’ would you argue? Certainly not. The authors have put all this together in good shape, with a very clear presentation in order to produce an innovative book, easy to read or just to browse." - Yann Pothier, Editor of French Deep Sky Observer’s magazine Ciel Extreme

"The subtitle of this book is 'Highlights Of The Deep Sky', but it might as well be 'Everything you want to know about Messier and his catalogue' because it is amazingly comprehensive. The full-plate photographs are truly magnificent. There are also excellent drawings made by Stoyan ... this book is worth every penny--and more. There have been many Messier books, but in my view this is the best I have ever seen." - Sir Patrick Moore, Sky at Night Magazine

"It would probably be worth buying the book just for the pictures alone, but this masterful volume is a must for any astronomer. If this book doesn't make you want to get out there and observe the wonderful Messier objects then nothing will." - Mark Armstrong, Astronomy Now

"This atlas should be in the library of any astronomer, amateur or professional, and any library with scientific collections." - Mark A. Wilson, American Reference Books Annual

"There are several good books that cover Charles Messier’s famous catalog of Deep Sky objects, but none are as beautiful or comprehensive as this spectacular volume from Cambridge University Press. ... Ronald Stoyan and his colleagues are to be congratulated for putting together a most beautiful and helpful volume on Messier and his catalog, one that all Deep Sky enthusiasts will wish to own, and which is unlikely to be surpassed for many years." - Nick Hewitt, Journal of the British Astronomical Association

“…a fresh perspective of the most popular catalog of astronomical targets in the sky … All 110 targets are illustrated with beautiful color photographs taken by today’s best European (mostly German) astrophotographers….” Sky and Telescope

"...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: 806,721
  • 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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