- Map: 3 pages
- Publisher: Ken Press; 4th Edition edition (February 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1928771033
- ISBN-13: 978-1928771036
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Guide to the Stars Map – February 15, 2013
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. . . invites beginning stargazers to relax, follow the chart's easy to use instructions and slowly begin the fascinating task of finding the constellations. . . --Arizona Daily Sun, September 14, 2000
About the Author
Ken Graun is author of six star charts and the popular astronomy books, What's Out Tonight?, Touring the Universe and The Next Step: Finding and Viewing Messier's Objects. His children's books include Our Earth and the Solar System, Our Constellations and their Stars and Our Galaxy and the Universe.
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Top Customer Reviews
Basically a planisphere is starmap printed on one of two plastic disks which are joined together in the center and free to rotate. Around the edge of one disk are the days of the year while the other disk has the hours of the day. By setting the time, on one disk, opposite the date on the other, it is possible for you to see the sky, through a window in the top disk, as it would appear at that particular day and time.
There are several thing about David Levy's planisphere that recommend it. To begin with it is BIG, 16 inches in diameter to be precise, and the printing is large and easy to read. Secondly, it is a good representation of the sky showing only those stars visible to the unaided eye. Finally, the reverse side contains information about the Moon, planets, meteor showers and a listing of interesting galaxies and star clusters visible in binoculars or a small telescope. If you are a beginning "Stargazer", or thinking about becoming one, this should be your first acquisition.
-all plastic (not paper or laminated paper)...won't get soggy if it gets wet
-kids will probably like the jumbo 16" diameter size (it is also available in 11" diameter size)
-useful information on the front and back (like meteor shower dates)
-works for latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees North
-several lesser-known stars are named; for example Zaurak, Sabik and Algorab
-a lot less crowded than smaller planispheres
-For its jumbo size, I was expecting more celestial objects & detail...the dimmer, harder-to-find Messier objects are not shown. But it looks like it was designed more for beginners, in which case this makes good sense.
-Messier objects are marked by a letter, and you must flip the planisphere over to 'decipher' the letter. For example, M35 in Gemini is simply labelled as 'H'. It should just be labelled as 'M35' on the front in the first place.
-sometimes the same letter represents two or three seperate Messier objects. For example, M36, M37, and M38 in Auriga are all designated by three seperate letter 'F's. The description on the back distinguishes them seperately, but it's annoying.
-floppy due to it being relatively thin for its size
A planisphere like this is essenial for beginners to learn the night sky. If you are more advanced and need more detail, get a star map (but you'll probably still use your planisphere too).
I had a hard time deciding between this one and the Chandler Night Sky one. I finally decided on this one because I wanted something that was easy to read. Plus, the fact that you had to flip the Chandler one over to get the southern view was a little off-putting. I know that they created it that way to get rid of the distortion but I thought that distortion wasn't really a big deal. But now that I have the actual planisphere in hand and go outside with it, I can see what people are complaining about. It does make things a little off, but not something you can't mentally compensate for.
So in actually, I would give this 4.5 stars. It's still useful and I love how big it is and how much information it has on it. But I'm thinking of getting the Chandler one now too.
The front of the planisphere is outlined in the periphery by the months with notches for the hour of the evening that you are gazing. Three simple instructions outline what to do. There are various tips on the front based upon the season with constellations denoted by uppercase letters, names of stars in italics, and circled letters indicating objects viewed by binoculars or telescopes.
On the back of the planisphere, there is an introduction to star-gazing, tips on viewing, and various 'landmarks' in the sky. Factoids about the planets and moon are described, also. In the periphery of the planisphere are a timeline of milestones in astronomy. A link to other facts about astronomy are found on [...] whats out tonight . com (no spaces).
This invaluable resource is excellent for any stargazer (novice,beginner or intermediate).
This is a great complement to the Discovery Sky and Land Telescope from the Discovery Store: