Stargazing Live 2013

What is a Planisphere, and why do I need one?

Phillips Planisphere 51.5 NorthExplore the skies, season by season

This beginner’s guide to stargazing introduces the novice astronomer to the principal celestial objects visible at different times of the year. Major constellations are used as signposts to navigate the night sky, locating hard-to-find stars and some fascinating deep-sky objects. The movement of the stars is also explained.

Find your way around the sky in minutes

holding a planisphere

Turn the oval panel to the required date and time to reveal the whole sky visible from your location. The map, by the well-known celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, shows stars down to magnitude 5, plus several deep-sky objects, such as the Pleiades, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula.

The planisphere is supplied in a full-colour wallet that contains illustrated step-by-step instructions for how to use the planisphere, how to locate planets, and how to work out the time of sunrise or sunset for any day of the year. It explains all the details that can be seen on the map – the magnitudes of stars, the ecliptic and the celestial coordinates. In addition, the section ‘Exploring the skies, season by season’ introduces the novice astronomer to the principal celestial objects visible at different times of the year.

Pick one up in WHSmiths, Telescope shops, Waterstones, independent bookshops or buy on Amazon.co.uk

 

Follow Heather Couper and the Stargazing UK team

Find out what to look out for in the skies.