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Category >>   Planispheres
   All skywatchers need a planisphere, or sky wheel, to quickly show which stars and constellations are visible from their location on any date and time. Find the planisphere that is right for you.

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(New Packaging)
  The Night Sky Planisphere
by David S. Chandler
Highly Recommended

Every sky watcher needs an easy-to-use planisphere to quickly tell which stars and constellations are above their horizon on any day and time of the year.

How it Works: The Night Sky Planisphere is made up of 2 sections -- an inner rotating dial (white) marked with the days and months of the year, and a fixed outer section (blue) marked with the hours of the day. The inner dial contains a sky map printed with dark stars on a light background for easy nighttime readability. To use the planisphere simply turn the inner dial to match the date with the time on the fixed outer part. The planisphere will then show the stars and constellations currently above the horizon as well as the location of the Milky Way. It works for any hour, of any day, of any year!

The Night Sky Planisphere is unique because it uses a two-sided projection to reduce sky distortion. Most other planispheres severely distort the sky view furthest from the celestial pole, namely the southern horizon for a northern hemisphere planisphere (or the northern horizon for a southern hemisphere planisphere). Many sky watchers believe The Night Sky is the best planisphere available because it reduces this type of sky distortion.

We agree, and recommend the larger 8.5-inch diameter planisphere design as the more useful of the two sizes. Larger planispheres are available -- Guide to the Stars (below) -- which may suit some people better. Made of durable plastic The Night Sky Planisphere will last many, many years.

Average customer review at Amazon.com:
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Amazon.com Customer Comment: Chandler's planisphere is a step above most others because it has very little distortion -- the shapes of constellations on the map are the same as they appear when you see them in the sky (very important for new or younger astronomers!). The Chandler map is also rugged enough to withstand years of use. more»

IMPORTANT: Planispheres are designed for specific latitude zones. When you buy a planisphere you must select one that is appropriate for your latitude. If you are not sure which one to buy, look up the latitude of your town/city in a world atlas, or use the handy links below, to help select the most suitable planisphere.

Latitude Maps:


Latitude 20° to 30° North (Florida, Mexico, North Africa, North India, South China):
 • Large (8.5-inch diameter) List Price: $11.95
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 • Small (5-inch diameter) List Price: $7.50 Buy at Amazon
Latitude 30° to 40° North (Mid-Southern USA, Southern Europe, Middle East, Central China, Japan):
 • Large (8.5-inch diameter) List Price: $11.95 MOST POPULAR
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 • Small (5-inch diameter) List Price: $7.50 Buy at Amazon
Latitude 40° to 50° North (Mid-Northern USA, Central Europe):
 • Large (8.5-inch diameter) List Price: $11.95
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 • Small (5-inch diameter) List Price: $7.50 Buy at Amazon
Latitude 50° to 60° North (Canada, UK, Northern Europe, Russia):
 • Large (8.5-inch diameter) List Price: $11.95
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 • Small (5-inch diameter) List Price: $7.50 Buy at Amazon
Latitude 20° to 50° South (Southern Hemisphere Edition):
 • Large (8.5-inch diameter) List Price: $11.95
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 • Small (5-inch diameter) List Price: $7.50 Buy at Amazon
Guide to the Stars Planisphere
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  Guide to the Stars -- Northern Hemisphere
by Ken Graun
January 2013, 5th Edition.

A jumbo 16-inch diameter planisphere -- the largest in size of any. Features a large star field viewing window with black stars on a white background. The back has practical information, including dates of meteor showers, planet data, historical timeline and observing tips. Made of plastic. Formally called the David H. Levy Guide to the Stars.

Can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30° and 60° North, which includes the US and Canada, England, Europe, Northern China and Japan.

Average customer review at Amazon.com:
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Amazon.com Customer Comment: I'm an avid amateur astronomer but when I was getting started I needed a simple way to orient myself to the sky to start my observing sessions and I certainly found it with this outstanding product. It is large enough to read in low light which other products simply can't match. It is made of flexible plastic instead of cardboard or paper so it will last virtually forever. more»

$19.95, (16-inch diameter) Buy at Amazon
$14.95, (11-inch diameter) Buy at Amazon

Guide to the Stars Planisphere
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(Front & Back)
  Guide to the Stars -- Southern Hemisphere
by Ken Graun
July 2012, 2nd Edition.

The Southern Hemisphere version of the Guide to the Stars planisphere. Features a large star field viewing window with black stars on a white background. The back has practical information, including dates of meteor showers, planet data, historical timeline and observing tips. Made of plastic.

Can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30° and 65° South.

Average customer review at Amazon.com:
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Amazon.com Customer Comment: The information and the constellation maps and layout is quite good. It is reminisant of the circular one sky window Phillips type I used for many years. more»

$16.95, (11-inch diameter) Buy at Amazon

Guide to the Stars Planisphere
Front

Guide to the Stars Planisphere
Back
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(Front & Back)
  Guide to the Stars -- Equatorial Edition
by Ken Graun
September 2009, 1st Edition.

Description: This planisphere was specifically designed for use around the Equator but it is useful from latitudes 30 degrees North to 30 degrees South. The instructions are in English and Spanish.

Some locations that this star chart can be used include: Southern Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Cuba, Central America, northern and central South America including all of Brazil, central and southern Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, southern China, Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and northern Australia.

Note: Although this star chart was designed specifically for use at or near the equator, with a little ingenuity, it can be used anywhere in the world because it charts the entire night skies of the northern and southern hemispheres.

Average customer review at Amazon.com:
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Amazon.com Customer Comment: 100% cardboard -- should be all plastic. No central pivot so difficult to rotate. There is just a single two-sided guide -- pink side is in English and with a star chart for the northern hemisphere and green side is in Spanish with a star chart for the southern hemisphere. more»

$16.95, (11-inches wide) Buy at Amazon

Messier Observer's Planisphere
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(Back)
  Messier Observer's Planisphere
by Mike Krzywonski
1st Edition, 2015

Description: An enormous 18-inch planisphere which contains all 110 Messier Objects plus dozens of additional deep sky treasures. Perfect for budding astronomers who want to learn the night sky, as well as for seasoned observers who are working on the Astronomical League's Messier program, or those participating in a Messier Marathon! All astronomers will love the easy to use format, the quick reference on the back, and the locator charts for difficult objects. The large star chart is easy to see, even with dark adapted vision. Colors are optimized for viewing under red light.

Best for latitudes between 30° and 60° North.

On the Front:

  • The large star chart (approx. 18" diameter) is easy to see, even with dark adapted vision.
  • Constellations are drawn with simple figures that are easy to visualize on the sky. Observers can easily identify bright stars and orient themselves to the night sky.
  • Stars are labelled with proper names and Bayer designations for easy reference.
  • All 110 Messier objects are displayed on the star chart, in addition to more than 25 popular NGC objects. An observer can locate and observe all of the Messier objects using this planisphere as their only reference.
  • Coordinate grid makes locating objects by right ascension and declination a snap.
  • Light shading shows the path of the Milky Way across the night sky.
  • Locator charts help observers locate difficult and frequently misidentified objects.
  • Shooting-star icons identify peak dates for meteor showers.

On the Back:

  • Reference table lists Messier and NGC objects showing object type, description, coordinates, brightness, constellation, and distance.
  • Sun, Moon, and Planet reference shows distance, light travel time, diameter, length of rotation period (day), and length of orbit period (year).
  • Messier Marathon Order table shows optimal sequence for observing during March Messier Marathon.
  • Meteor Shower reference shows peak dates and intensities.
  • Locator charts help observers locate difficult and frequently misidentified objects.
  • Large Virgo locator chart helps observers easily identify Messier galaxies in Virgo.

Average customer review at Amazon.com:
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Amazon.com Customer Comment: Excellent product. Plastic, so dew and damp have no effect. Very large and clear. So big that I have half a mind to put a nail in the wall and hang it up as an artwork when it's not in use! more»

$35.00, (18-inch diameter) Buy at Amazon

Skymaps.com/store -- Recommended Books & Products for Skywatchers
New BooksStar AtlasesPlanispheresGetting StartedObserving GuidesTelescope BooksKids BooksSky Myths
History & ArtistryStar Map PrintsAstroPhotographyTelescopes & BinocularsDVDsSoftwareAstro Calendars


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