The movement of the stars is well understood. Their location in the sky relative to Earth can be predicted with a very simple device called a planisphere.
DK Publishing has put together a kit for star gazers called StarFinder. The StarFinder set includes an integrated planisphere on the front cover, a well-illustrated guide, a red nightlight, and a handy deck of reference cards for the field.
This kit contains everything needed to understand, observe, and enjoy the night sky in any hemisphere. The guide is perfect for a beginner, but is still useful for an experienced astronomer.
The StarFinder is not just for learning about the sky. It is a tool which may be used outside. On the cover there is a built-in planisphere which can help locate the various celestial objects and constellations. Instructions for how to use the planisphere is on the inside of the cover.
In order to see at night, the eye takes about 20 minutes to fully adapt to the low light conditions. However, any white light will "reset" the eye and ruin the low light adaptation. The included nightlight puts out a red light for use with the planosphere so it will not interfere with the night-adapted vision of the user.
The StarFinder may be enjoyed both indoors and out. One of the benefits of this low-tech piece of astronomy gear is that it is much easier to set up outside than a 100lb telescope. We will take it out for a FirstUse on the next clear night. [Permalink]- StarFinder