Glenn Chaple's observing basics: How to navigate the heavens
October 2005: Like our all-sky chart, a planisphere portrays a full view of the night sky.
October 1, 2005
|"In each issue of Astronomy, you'll find an all-sky map a circular chart that shows the appearance of the sky after sunset this month. The all-sky map found on page 63 of this issue can help beginners locate and identify major stars and constellations. As the directions note, you hold the all-sky map overhead and orient it so a direction label matches the direction you're facing. Do your arms tire easily? You also can hold the map in front of you, as if it were a car's steering wheel. Turn it so the direction label corresponding to whichever horizon you're facing is at the bottom. |
But, perhaps you want to go outside before sunrise tomorrow, when the stars and constellations will be totally different from what's portrayed on the all-sky map. What then? You need a planisphere!
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