Finding your way around the night sky has never been easier with utilities such as smartphone or tablet apps such as Celestron’s free SkyPortal app for iOS/Android. However there are still a great many number of people, young and old, beginner or advanced, that like or prefer to use and look at a physical hard-copy star map.
Celestron offer their “two-in-one” guide to the northern hemisphere night sky called Sky Maps.
- The front, rather than being like a book with a “plain” cover, is a useful planisphere. This is a rotatable “star chart wheel” that when aligned with the date and time displays the night sky for that period. When the planisphere front cover is pre-exposed to light (e.g. lights inside your house or a white light torch), all of the major stars will glow in the dark. This makes it ideal for seeing whats up in the sky whilst you are outside under the stars!
- Inside the Star Maps book there is a collection of more detailed star charts showing the night sky for each of our four seasons with the positions of interesting celestial objects. The charts are printed “in negative” with stars, celestial objects and text against a white background. This makes the charts easier to see and read in low light conditions or in the dark with a red light torch (e.g. Celestron Night Vision Flashlight). The charts will allow you to find objects with your binoculars or telescope by using the “star-hopping” method. An illustrated reference section provides information on the various types of celestial objects that are visible.
The book binding is of the plastic comb type which holds the pages securely, but also allows the pages to lie completely flat. The Celestron Sky Maps are made from 13-1/4” x 11-1/4” water-resistant, durable heavy-duty card which will provide years of enjoyment and use.
Celestron Sky Maps also makes a great present too!