My friend, Pyracantha Shapero, who knows of my latest astronomy addiction, has graciously gifted me with a copy of Hans Vehrenberg’s Atlas of Deep-Sky Splendors (4th ed.), a fascinating work.
It is available at Amazon: Atlas of Deep-Sky Splendors.
It’s pretty cool. It has black and white photos on the inside (perfect for an amateur astronomer, who will pretty much be seeing black and white anyway through a scope for the most part. It is pretty easy to use the book as long as you know your way around the heavens.
Let’s find the Orion Nebula (M42), which we looked at briefly before. The Orion Nebula, surprisingly enough, is in Orion.
Now we’ll find the object. Knowing that it is underneath Orion’s belt, we see its listing and the page number in italics. On the right of the inside cover pages is a listing of Messier objects.
Moving to page 65, we see some color photos (the O Nebula is that awesome that it rates color photos, but don’t get excited–the photos are time exposures, and you will likely see its awesomeness in black and white). On the left page we see information about it within the context of the constellation, and some writing about the object itself. On the right page is a finder diagram at the top (that explains which object is which is in position in the photo, and to the right of that are the R.A. and Dec. coordinates, which are also around the larger featured picture.
Other than an author’s bio and an index in the back, that’s it. Simple, straightforward, and fun.
Lots of thanks go out to my friend, Pyracantha Hannah Shapero, who was thinking of me and sent this to me. Pyra is a Brandeis and Harvard-educated artist who makes beautiful work related to the stars, landscapes, science fiction and fantasy, and iconography. She also produces fascinating ambient and experimental electronic music. Please feel to explore her work and to pass it on to others who may enjoy it as well. Her website is: http://www.pyracantha.com.
The citation for Vehrenberg’s work is:
Vehrenberg, H. (1983). Atlas of deep-sky splendors (4th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Sky Publishing Corp.