sponsored by psychohistorian.org
Published: 2009 January 08.
A planisphere is an awesome tool for learning your way around the night sky. It shows the rising and setting of the stars, and how the constellations relate to one another.
The Southern Star Wheel is a revolutionary new planisphere that is a substantial improvement on previous planispheres because it is customisable.
If you live in the big city and can only see the brightest stars (or are still learning your way around the night sky), you can select a simplified "star disk" that shows only the major stars. If you want to learn the shapes of the constellations, use the star disk that delineates their stick figures.
More experienced users can use an advanced star disk that shows many more (fainter) stars. And if you're interested in the ethnoastronomy of southern Africa, there is a special star disk that shows some of the most famous indigenous stars and patterns.
The Southern Star Wheel has been designed for high-quality printing on A3-sized paper (although it will work fine on the smaller A4 format also). For best results, print it on heavy paper (say, 160gsm) for durability; you may even want to laminate the various parts. Once the separate pieces have been printed, simply cut them out and assemble. Complete instructions are included in the free PDF download.
Southern Star Wheel
(version 0.8; PDF, 1.7 Meg)
For use at latitude 35° South
(South Africa, South America,
Australia & New Zealand)
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