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Antonin Becvar

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Anthony Rodda's picture
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Antonin Becvar

Hi fellas, a bit of a knowledge request if I may...

I have an excellent example of Atlas Coeli by Becvar.  (The inserts still have the original tissue paper backing), along with a good quality copy of the Catalogue.  I've owned these for about ten years.

What I also have, and what I've never seen before or since, are 16 negative prints, one for each map, on card with an additional  facing or title card containing general atlas map information on the reverse. 

I think these are 'Observatory' maps for use by astronomers.  In 'negative' so as not to spoil night vision?

Anyway, I get the feeling that these are akin to hens teeth and was wondering how to go about researching them.  I can't find any references 'on the web'.  Any ideas?

A couple of pics attached...

Regards

Tony

    

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I have a copy of Coeli which

I have a copy of Coeli which I've owned since I bought it as a teenager in the seventies. It got very dog-eared after many damp nights outside. I don't have these negative charts though and would be very interested in the history of these.

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Atlas Coeli

I too got an Atlas Coeli in around 1977. My father had to arrange some kind of bank transfer to order it from the US. I owned it into the 90's, but then gave it to someone else. I never had the negatives. I recall there were desk and field editions of the atlas available. I still have the catalogue, but I'm not sure I ever used it in earnest!

Let us know what you turn up, Tony.

Jeremy

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Atlas Coeli

Hi Tony, Don't know how far your net investigations have gone but there are some good ADSABS links from the Wikipedia entry for Skalnate Pleso Atlas of the Heavens. Follow those through and see where it takes you. Apparently Sky Publishing Corp (Sky & Tel) took on publishing it in the mid fifties of last century.

 A search for Antonin Becvar will get you to some more info with a piece by Lubor Kresak. If you go on to the Cloudy Nights Forum and do a search for Skalnate Pleso Atlas using the forum's  search facility there is more information. Do the broad full forum search rather than narrow yourself down to the specialist forum group.

My second (1957)  observed N/E comet Mrkos was discovered at Skalnate Pleso so is a special place for me. Missed out on a market stall purchase of the atlas in Accrington back in the 1990s ( going for a song too).Managed a great astro holiday in the region with visits to Lomniki Stit , Skalnate Pleso and an occultation symposium at Stara Lesna Observatory back in the late nineties. Rafted down the Dunajek river on the same trip.

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Atlas Coeli

Hi Tony,

I have never seen a copy with the set of negative prints. When I visited Skalnate Pleso we were shown their collection of Becvar atlases and catalogues, so I might have been shown a special edition like yours, but I don't recall it.

Len, the Stara Lesna ESOP was in 2007. As you know I was in Wakefield yesterday, assessing the extent of Melvyn's collection of star atlas and catalogues. It includes Atlas Coeli and its Catalogue, so we can set them aside for you if you wish. Melvyn's atlases have a personal touch because some pages contain his pencil sketches of the tracks of comets that he observed.

Clear skies,

     Alex.

Anthony Rodda's picture
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Thanks for the pointers guys.

I'll post what I find out.

That looked like a great holiday Len!  I visited the Czech and Slovak republics many times prior to retirement and I'm kicking myself that I didn't visit the observatory.  It was always "I'm busy, I'll catch it next time".  What a fool.

Regards

T

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Atlas Coeli

Have just located my copy of Atlas Coeli to see if it contained the negatives, but alas no. Looks like Tony's copy is rare indeed. Good luck in your quest for information Tony.

Denis Buczynski's picture
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Atlas Coeli

Hi Tony,

I looked at my early editon of this atlas and a later one and neither have negative maps included with them. Are the negative maps produced by Sky Publishing in the same way as the positive maps? Perhaps they have been copied from the positive maps by previous owner.When you say you want to research them, what are you wanting to find out?

Denis

ps Skelnate Pleso Observatory and its history is absorbing. The details of the people and and observers there is fascinating. Becvar was just one (maybe the most important) but Mrkos, Padjusakova, Kresak , Vovarova and the other comet discoverers and astronomers  there were huge characters also. 

Denis Buczynski's picture
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Hi Tony again,

Hi Tony again,

I have now looked at my third copy of this atlas, which is named Atlas of The Heavens and not Atlas Coeli. It is published by Sky Publishing in 1969. All the charts in it are in negative form. This I think is field edition and not rare. The earler copies of the Atlas I have are, one that is entitled Atlas of The Heavens and was published in 1949 by Sky Publishing containing maps on individual sheets sized 24x18 inches. The other I have is one entitled Atlas Coeli published by Czech Academy( in 4 languages Czech, Russian, English and German) in 1962 it contains bound maps in sheets 21x15 inches. All are for Epoch 1950.0. Looking at your picture of the Atlas you have it looks a modern edition with a folding bound maps. This is probably the desk edition.This and the negative maps were probably able to be purchased together. So I think you have a modern set of maps and no hens teeth are present! Still a great set of star maps though. If you need any pics of the various copies I have let me know.

Denis

Anthony Rodda's picture
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Hi Denis

Many thanks for the info and the investigative work.

I've unwittingly misled the forum into thinking that the 'negatives' are part of the atlas.  They're completely separate - but are published by Sky.

They are not bound nor are they photocopies and are printed on 'heavy' card as a complete, but loose, set.  They are a different scale to the maps.  I've photographed them side by side.

I was aware of the differing desk and field editions.  All my stuff is dated 1969 so not rare in any valuation sense, it's just that I had not seen unbound maps (or negatives).

Are these unbound 'card' negatives a version of the field maps?

Regards

Tony