The Night Sky 40°-50° (Large; North Latitude)
A planisphere, also called a Star Chart or, sometimes, a Star Wheel is a flat multi-part chart that displays the stars visible from a particular latitude for any time and date. Our unique planisphere, The Night Sky, pioneered the use of a two sided map projection to produce a low-distortion, simple to use guide to the night sky. With The Night Sky even a newcomer will be finding constellations in the night sky within a few minutes!
All of our planispheres are manufactured in the USA of the best materials to last long and retain their accuracy and usability.
Planispheres are produced for specific latitudes because the portion of the sky you will be able to see depends on where you are on the Earth. The farther north you are, the more of the northern hemisphere stars you will be able to see but the horizon will block more of the southern hemisphere. We produce our charts in more different latitude versions than any other major chart.
Latitude Ranges Available for English Planispheres:
20°-30°, 30°-40°, 40°-50°, 50°-60°, & Southern Hemisphere
The Distortion Solution
The map projection used for any planisphere is a flat representation of our spherical view of the cosmos. Some distortion of distance, scale, area, etc. always results from this process. In map projections commonly used in planispheres this distortion increases geometrically as distance from the center increases. In conventional planispheres the distortion can be extreme which makes for a confusing and difficult to use star chart. This distortion results from trying to stretch the whole dome of the sky onto a single flat map.
The Night Sky is NOT a conventional planisphere! Our unique two-sided planisphere has been in print for over 35 years and no chart is more respected or recommended. No flat map can remove all distortion, but by displaying half of the sky on the front and the other half on the opposite side The Night Sky eliminates over 90% of the distortion inherent in conventional one-sided planispheres. Although The Night Sky is the choice of professionals worldwide, beginners of all people, need clear, accurate, and reliable observing aids.
The Night Sky is Designed to be Used!
- Unlike coffee-table planispheres, The Night Sky is printed with dark stars on a light background, for easy nighttime readability.
- The constellations are drawn simply, emphasizing the brighter stars which makes them easy to recognize and locate with the naked eye or entry level equipment.
- Coordinate grid lines are shown without being intrusive. Coordinates are shown because they can be useful for cross referencing with star atlases.
- A selection of deep sky objects for binocular viewing is included. It is important to point out to beginners that the best first telescope is a pair of binoculars. You may already have what it takes to start observing tonight!
- The Night Sky is larger than it looks! The map scale is larger than on similar-size planispheres because the whole sky does not have to be shown on a single map. Even the 5" pocket version is large enough to be quite readable.
The Night Sky is widely recognized by the amateur astronomy and educational communities as the overall best planisphere on the market.
Who Will Find The Night Sky Useful?
The Night Sky is perfect for anyone who wants to recognize the constellations, whether for naked-eye viewing, or to help find things with binoculars or a telescope. Beginners will find it is the best way to learn the sky. It shows not only what to look for, but where and when. Students can use it as a miniature planetarium, to help understand the motions of the sky. Telescope users will find that The Night Sky is a fantastic overview map to use as the perfect complement to our Sky Atlas for Small Telescopes and Binoculars. Amateur astronomers can use it to plan observing events. It shows what will be visible on any day, any time of night.