Deep-Sky Hunter Star Atlas

"Deep Sky hunter" is a printable deep sky atlas designed for serious deep sky observers. It features stars down to magnitude 10.2 and DSO down to magnitude 14 plotted on 101 A3 charts which cover the entire sky. Manual post-editing was performed in order to ensure non-cluttered charts with readable labels. Tthe atlas also features 21 supplement "zoom" charts of galaxy clusters and densly populated areas, and indications of over 500 "best" objects.

The maps were designed for A3 pages, however some find it usable on A4 as well. In terms of scale and amount of detail "DeepSky Hunter" falls between Sky Atlas 2000 and Uranometria 2000. Here you can see a comparison with other atlases.

Beginners and smaller telescope owners who find this atlas over cluttered - should check out my first release of deep-sky atlas ("TheSky" which is designed for A4).

The second revision (jun 2017) features the following updates:

  • A fix of numerous labeling, indexing, position errors. Lots of labeling tweaks
  • Added magnitude key at the top of each chart
  • Added "field edition" version (white text over black background)
  • Optimized the PDF file (12MB instead of 50MB). Fixed chart 20 printing issues


Examples and Images:

Chart number 9
"Zoom" chart of Virgo region

deep sky atlas for printing - 1
Snapshot of a Scorpius region chart
printable deep sky atlas - 3
Snapshot of the Virgo galaxy cluster "zoom" chart
deep sky hunter star atlas - field (white over black) version
Snapshot of the Oron's belt region in a field edition (W/B)

Features Summary:

  • Stars down to to magnitude 10.2 and DSO down to magnitude 14.0
  • Comprehensive manual post-editing, resulting in clean and readable charts
  • Select galaxy clusters and dense areas plotted in 21 "zoom" charts
  • Indications of best DSO (Messier, Caldwell, Herschel 400 and SAC's best)
  • Common names, bright and dark nebulae outlines, galaxy clusters
  • Easy navigation with double page spreads which cover 40x30°
  • Entire sky covered by 101 charts and 8 pages with appendix maps
  • Index maps, "neighbour page" and "zoom chart" navigation marks, magnitude index
  • Constellation lines and borders, RA/DEC grid (epoch 2013), double stars
  • Printable appendix of detailed objects list (~7000) and "best DSO" images
  • Field edition with white text over black background

Objects List and Best DSO Images:

A separate 35 page download of detailed deep sky objects list is also availabe, and it features list of ~7000 deep sky objects down to magnitude 14 from SAC database, which are roughly the same DSO which are plotted in this atlas. Objects without magnitude (i.e. dark nebulae) are also listed. The list is limited to declination -60°. Objects are sorted by catalog number, starting with Messier list, then NGC, IC and so on. "Best" objects are marked in bold. Note that some inconsistencies might be present, due to different catalog designations which a specific object might have.

deep sky hunter list of objects
A supplement list of 7000 deep sky objects

Additional download is a 20 page list of thumbnail images of ~700 best DSO. This list includes, among others, all objects which are indicated as "best DSO" in this atlas with * (star) mark.

deep sky atlas images appendix
A supplement list of 650 best deep sky objects with images

See additional downloads to get these supplement lists. These lists are formatted for A3. For original A4 versions - visit this page.

Printing Instructions:

For best results print this atlas on A3 pages, in black & white, portrait orientation, at 600 dpi resolution. Make sure that "reduce to printer margins" option is checked. Cover should be the first page, then a spread of index1 and index2 followed by the rest. Or simply print the whole PDF document, starting with the cover page. If you choose to laminate the atlas - you may use a metal ring binder (see the following picture). To print the atlas Acrobat reader is required.

ring bind for laminated pages
printing instructions

Click here to see an example of a printed and laminated result.

Notes and Copyright Information:

Compared to many other atlases - this release is much less cluttered with information which is often useless for deep sky observers (variable stars, extremely faint DSO, etc). Also the labels are well spaced and do not overlap with other labels and stars.

Combined database of deep sky objects was used, including Messier, NGC, IC, PGC, UGC, MGC, PK, Barnard and numerous catalogs of star clusters. Common names of deep sky objects were taken from from various sources.

This atlas is a copyright of Michael Vlasov © 2017, all right reserved. Source charts were generated by "Sky Map Pro 10" software, C A Mariott ® all rights reserved. Thumbnail images for object lists were taken from NGC/IC Project database, and Negative DSS images were used (data courtesy of the Digital Sky Survey). DSO list was compiled using SAC 7.7 Deep sky database (data courtesy of the Saguaro Astronomy Club).

Additional Downloads: