Friday, May 20, 2011

Stars by Collins Gem

Bought this pocket sky atlas book last year at Borders. Enjoyed its pocketability and usability when observing in the field. This is a good non-battery operated back up in case my phone's battery goes flat and can't use the astro apps. The price is also very affordable. As there was only one copy at Borders at that time, did not thought of buying one more.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see this book for sale again last week at a book fair at SAFRA Mount Faber while meeting a friend there for a drink.

It was sold at SGD $7.90 each. They condition are very slightly less than mint if you choose to look very closely at the smallest potential wrinkles at the cover pages. But the inside pages look brand new. It cost USD $7.95 before shipping at Amazon. And the promotion is buy 2 get 1 free. Needless to say, I took up the offer. I intend to leave one copy at a semi-permanent observing place in Malaysia, one for use in Singapore and the remaining ones as gift to friends who can appreciate its value.

The book fair is till end of May. After my purchase there last week, there are still about 5 - 6 copies left. This is good book to learn about the 88 constellations and  Messier objects for the newcomer and intermediate astronomers too. Just like there are portable telescopes that get used more often than huge ones, don't be surprised you may end up using this pocket sky atlas more frequently than other bulkier (but more detailed) ones in the long run.

Speaking of Star Atlases, there is nice article titled "Choose a star atlas that's right for you" by Michael E. Bakich in the June 2011 issue of Astronomy.

Inter-monsoon period is here and hopefully will end soon. Are you ready for stargazing season 2011? :)


  1. Hi Gary, I enjoy your blog, and now follow you on Twitter. You're the first person I come across in Singapore who enjoys astronomy.
    I will try to get hold of the book you mentioned. So far, the star domes on the Astronomy magazines aren't very easy to follow, possibly due to the magazine being US based, hence the star domes are usually based on a US location.
    We are too far south to see all that's on the star dome. Meanwhile, the Science Centre's sky map is also a little hard to follow. What I see on their map, doesn't quite correspond to the real thing I see at night (at least direction-wise).
    Anyway, I'll be reading your blog often, now that I found another good source. Keep up the good work. I'm enjoying your blog immensely.

  2. Hi Elnie. Glad you like the blog. For sky maps, you can try the free monthly pdf version for equatorial countries like Singapore . The Science Centre's sky map though not as comprehensive as skymap but is quite good in the sense that it focus on the brightest stars that can be seen in the light polluted skies in Singapore. Thus, reducing unnecessary clutter in the star map which may overwhelm a newcomer. You can approach the helpful staff there with a green laser pointer to point to you the stars in the sky. That is a very efficient way to familarise yourself with the night sky. Btw, there are many amateur astronomers in Singapore. You can find them at the forum . That is the astro forum I hang around most of the time. Good luck in making new astronomer friends there!