The 4th edition of the 11-inch diameter plastic Guide to the Stars chart is a ''map'' to help you identify the constellations. You simply dial-in your observing time and date to find the set of constellations visible in your sky (this is accomplished by rotating the clear top piece). This chart can be used for latitudes 30 degrees to 60 degrees North, which covers the US and Canada. Although this chart is designed for beginners, it finds use with seasoned amateur astronomers. This type of round star chart is often called a planisphere because it takes a set of stars on a sphere and plots them on a flat surface.
The 11-inch diameter is a compact size ideal for travel. This chart can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees north including England, Europe, Northern China and Japan. The 4th edition has been improved by indicating favorite double stars and providing more information on the back, all without increasing clutter.
The front chart indicates 70 Constellations, the Names of 55 Stars, the Milky Way Band, the Ecliptic (which is the path of the Sun, Moon and Planets), 55 favorite Double Stars, the Summer Triangle, Winter/Summer Tours and 50 Galaxies, Star Clusters and Nebulae that can be observed with binoculars or a small telescope. Additionally, favorite star patterns are noted, like the Great Square of Pegasus, the Circlet of Pisces, the Northern Cross of Cygnus and others.
On the back side, there are useful tables and other astronomical information, including: Yearly Meteor Showers, Phases of the Moon, Facts about the Planets, A Short history of Astronomy, the 10 Brightest Stars, Information about the Binocular & Telescope Objects (indicated on the chart), Why Stars Twinkle, additional instructions for using the chart to identify the stars and constellations, and more.
PLANET NOTE. Most star charts, like this one, do not indicate, on the chart, the position of the Planets or Moon because these objects move through the constellations of the zodiac, along a path in the sky called the Ecliptic (indicated on the chart). The Moon moves at a rate of one Moon diameter per hour against the background stars. The visible Planets move much slower but movement can normally be seen over several days. Website support is provided to identify the planets that are visible in the sky.
(This chart is also available in a larger, 16-inch diameter size that is easier to read and ideal for families, teachers and seniors.)
- Front Chart: 70 Constellations,55 Stars, the Milky Way Band, the Ecliptic (which is the path of the Sun, Moon and Planets), 55 favorite Double Stars, the Summer Triangle, Winter/Summer Tours and 50 Galaxies, Star Clusters and Nebulae
- Back Chart: Yearly Meteor Showers, Phases of the Moon, Facts about the Planets, A Short history of Astronomy, the 10 Brightest Stars, Information about the Binocular & Telescope Objects, Why Stars Twinkle, additional instructions, and more