A good star atlas provides a road map of the sky. As such, it can start you on an adventure that will last your whole life. The objects it highlights and the information it contains will guide you on tours through the night sky you’ll take again and again.
Here, I list the features of 10 atlases. Key feature number 1: All of them are good. That said, which one is best for you? That depends on your experience, your goals, and your telescope.
If you’re just starting your adventure into amateur astronomy, pick an atlas that displays the stars you can see without optical aid. Such atlases show stars to about magnitude 6. Beginner atlases also show a wide swath of sky on each page and may include constellation outlines.
These atlases also limit the number of plotted deep-sky objects to only those visible through a 4-inch telescope. That list includes the 109 Messier objects, selected objects from the New General Catalogue (NGC), and the brightest and most colorful double and variable stars.