Norton’s Star Atlas 20th edition 

Addenda and corrigenda 

The 20th edition of Norton’s Star Atlas was first published in late 2003 under the Pi Press imprint of Pearson Education Inc. in the USA. In 2007 a reprint with corrections and improved binding was published under the Dutton imprint of the Penguin Group, although still bearing the 2004 copyright date of Pearson Education. Some of the corrections below were incorporated in the 2007 reprint, but not all. Norton’s is no longer listed on the publisher’s website, and the Editor knows of no plans to revive it.

page 2: 

In Table 1, under the right-hand heading DECLINATION OF STAR the subheadings should read “south declination for northern observers” and “north declination for southern observers”. The subheadings under the left-hand heading are correct. Thanks to Bjoern Rehnfeldt for pointing this out.

page 3: 

After 2007 the date of the vernal equinox is exclusively March 20. From 2044 it can occur on either March 19 or March 20 until the end of the 21st century, when the dates revert to March 20 or 21.

page 52: 

An updated butterfly diagram can be found at

page 53: 

In the bottom part of Figure 18, showing the orientation of the solar disk as projected onto a camera screen, W and E should be reversed for both the northern and southern hemisphere disks.

page 68: 

In Table 19 the headings Maximum Dist. from Sun and Minimum Dist. from Sun have been transposed.

page 69: 

In Table 21 the Moon’s inclination should read 5°.15 and its density 3.35.

In Table 21 add footnote c: “Diameter of solid body; diameter at cloud tops is 5550 km”. 

In Table 21, add a leading 0 to the eccentricity for Saturn’s moon XXV Mundilfari 

In Table 21, Saturn’s moon XXVII Skadi should be Skathi and XXX Thrym should be Thrymr.

page 70: 

In Table 21 (continued) delete superscript b next to Triton’s diameter and footnote b.

page 80: 

In late 2005 oval BA began to redden, turning into a mini version of the Red Spot.

page 87: 

Hermes (first entry in Table 31) was rediscovered in 2003 October and assigned the number 69230. Its orbital elements are: period, 2.13 years; perihelion, 0.622 au; aphelion, 2.688 au; inclination. 6°.1; eccentricity, 0.624.

Amor (sixth entry in Table 31) is not the first known to cross the orbit of Mars. Eros, discovered 34 years before Amor, also crosses Mars’s orbit. (Thanks to Jean Meeus for pointing this out.)

page 88: 

The 16th edition of the Catalogue of Cometary Orbits, published 2005, lists orbital elements for 221 individual comets, of which 341 have confirmed or computed periods of less than 200 years.

page 92: 

The parent body of the Quadrantids is very likely minor planet 2003 EH1.

page 95: 

The maximum possible duration for a total solar eclipse varies over time due to long-term changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit. Currently the theoretical maximum is around 7m 32s but is decreasing.

page 104: 

In Table 38 “Scuptoris” should be “Sculptoris”.

page 105: 

In Table 39, Sadachbia is Gamma Aquarii.

page 108: 

A minus sign is missing from the formula for combined magnitude (and has been since the 19th edition). It should read 

m = m1 — 2.5 log{1 + antilog[—0.4(m2 m1)]}

Thanks to Michael Lawden for pointing this out.

page 128: 

In Table 55, add outburst of RS Ophiuchi in 2006. 

page 136: 

In Table 59, the declination for the Wolf–Lundmark–Melotte galaxy should be negative, not positive.

page 141: 

Ara is missing from the table. It is shown on charts 12 and 16. Its full visibility is 22°N–90°S and its partial visibility is 44°N–22°N.

Centaurus: The southerly limit of visibility of Centaurus is 25°, not 35° as printed. 

Coma Berenices: The southerly limit of visibility is 56°, not 57°.

Sagittarius: The southerly limit of visibility is 44°, not 46°.

page 144 (Chart 1): 

In the reference to adjoining charts, Chart 10 should read Chart 7, Chart 16 should read Chart 9 and Chart 14 should read Chart 11. (Thanks to Jim Snyder for pointing this out, and the similar errors on Charts 4 and 11, below.)

page 148 (Chart 3): 

Delete open cluster NGC 7772 (not really a cluster).

page 149 (Chart 4): 

In the reference to adjoining charts, Chart 5 should read Chart 6 and Chart 13 should read Chart 14.

page 152 (Chart 5) 

There is a spurious star symbol in Triangulum to the left of 11 Tri. It is apparently a duplicate symbol of Alpha and arose during the redrawing of the charts for this edition. Thanks to Matthew Stevenson for pointing this out.

page 152 (Chart 5), page 157 (Chart 7), page 158 

The star labelled Epsilon Monocerotis at RA 06h 23.8m, dec. +04 36, on Charts 5 and 7 and in the table of interesting objects for Charts 7 and 8 is more usually known as 8 Monocerotis.

page 161 (Chart 10) 

The variable star labelled 11 Hydrae should be II Hydrae. Credit to Charlotte Wagner for spotting this.

page 163: 

In the list of clusters, nebulae and galaxies, delete dimensions of NGC 4258. 

In the list of clusters, nebulae and galaxies, change dec minutes of NGC 4486 to 23 (from 24) 

In the list of clusters, nebulae and galaxies, change RA minutes of NGC 5128 to 25 (from 26)

page 168 (Chart 13): 

In the reference to adjoining charts, Chart 13 should read Chart 3 and Chart 9 should read Chart 11.

page 171: 

Delete NGC 6603 from list of clusters, nebulae and galaxies. M24 is the large star field, not this cluster (and neither of them are shown on the map).

Star charts:  Due to a printing error, in some copies of the Pi Press edition the star symbols on Chart 13 are missing in the Milky Way area. Second-hand copies with this flaw may still be encountered and should be avoided. Replacement copies are no longer available from the publisher as the book is now out of print.

Ian Ridpath

ian @

Last change 2018 September. This page is no longer updated.

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