Dieter Willasch is an astrophotographer who has split his time since 2001 between Germany and South Africa. Auke Slotegraaf is a mathematician and astronomer. He is the director of the Deep Sky Observing Section of the Astronomical Society of South Africa.
Weighing just over 1 kg, it's a bit heavy for the suitcase, but that is more than adequately compensated by the high quality of the 71 beautiful full-size colour plates. These are arranged according to the season and RA, and have been chosen subjectively for their prominence in the southern sky. Even the orientation of each image on the page is done aesthetically, as the authors point out. Facing each picture there is a page of text explaining, amongst other things, how to find the object, what one can expect to see, who discovered it, and what the object actually is. The RA and Dec. (presumably at Epoch 2000'0), scale, and catalogue designations are also given; and, importantly, a table at the back gives details of the source, the camera, and the processing used for each image. A comprehensive set of appendices gives just about everything the reader could want, including a summary of the lives of stars, the properties of the different classes of object, a bibliography, and tables to relate object names (some of them informal) to catalogue designations... This book is a splendid compendium of images of southern, deep-sky objects, and it would be well-suited to a domestic coffee table, an airport lounge, or a travel-agent's office. I found the book inspiring.-- (06/01/2015) Slotegraaf and Willasch provide the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere with a window onto the world south of the celestial equator. To orient readers to the astrological context, the book is prefaced by a wide-field photograph of the southern Milky Way from Sagittarius to Canis Major. The format is straightforward with the 71 objects, moving from right ascension, explored in a spread each, with a full-page color photo on the left page and a lucid description on the right. The targets are of an amazing diversity, from the Tarantula Nebula to the Omega Centauri. Located at the bottom of the right page is descriptive information, for example, catalog designations, object type, coordinates, and constellations. An appendix includes brief descriptions of major topics: life cycles of stars, planetary nebulae, galaxy clusters, and supernovae. An excellent overview of an astronomical world hidden from northern eyes, sure to appeal to astronomy buffs.-- (11/15/2014)