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Philip's Planisphere: Northern 51.5 Degrees - British Isles, Northern Europe Northern USA and Canada (Philip's Astronomy) Paperback – 9 May 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 2 pages
  • Publisher: Philip's (9 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054008817X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0540088171
  • Product Dimensions: 30.7 x 0.8 x 31.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The Planisphere is a really useful bit of kit... You effectively have a map of every night sky constellation." --Astronomer Mark Thompson on BBC Stargazing LIVE --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Turn the disc to reveal the stars visible from your location on any night of the year.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I got the Planisphere a while back and found it to be a fabulous astronomical companion. The larger format makes it easy to see outside in the dark and it's plastic construction means it won't be affected by night dew. On the back is a handy planet finder which is accurate and I quickly found Saturn in the area it computed.

I prefer the Planisphere to the laptop version as it doesn't run out of batteries, crash or damage easily. I wouldn't be without it.
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Format: Paperback
The Planisphere is the perfect tool for any amateur astronomer.
It comes with full instructions on its use, so you can have a quick look at it and be out inspecting the night sky in only a few minutes.

It also explains how to find the major planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), sunrise and sunset as well as the positions of the constellations, season by season. Luckily, many of these instructions can be found on the back of the Planisphere itself (along with a Key to map symbols) so that you can always flip it over if you get stuck.

The Planisphere itself is sturdy, flexible and laminated so it won't be affected by wet surfaces - which is useful if you find yourself outside and there's a change in the weather. This makes it superior to any cardboard version.

I recieved my first Planisphere at the age of ten, and I still buy updated versions every few years, simply because they are useful for locating the major planets (it covers their positions, month by month for ten years). Those who have just started stargazing will find the Planisphere a useful tool.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading all the positive feedback I went for this product as I am just starting out on my new passion for astronomy.
I have been out several times now and have rediscovered some of the things my father showed me as a child in our back garden as well as discovering so many new things. The instructions are easy to understand and once you get the hang of dialing in the date and time it gives a fascinating glimpse into the worlds beyond our own.
It does have it's drawbacks though, hence I gave it only the 4 Stars (Ha! Ha! no pun intended).

It is a little awkward holding it over your head, neck/arm ache etc. but I have found a combination of holding it up and getting your bearings then placing it down to look again works well. As long as you remember where the compass points are when you bring it the other way up. Actually taking a compass with you is a good idea and I have made good use of an inexpensive map readers compass.

You really do need to have some light to read it by and of course white light from an ordinary torch will ruin your eyes adjustment to the dark ("Dark Adaption") which takes around 30mins to be properly effective. You really need a "red" light source as this does not compromise the dark adaption as much. Of course hand held torches also restrict the number of things you can hold properly too unless you want to try holding one in you mouth (as I did on my first night out) and find yourself dribbling and drooling as you crane you neck, hold your Planisphere up and aim the beam so you can read it. I found a really good headtorch for less than £10 which switches from 2 white LED's to 1 red LED and have been very pleased with it.
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Format: Paperback
Every now and then in the winter when Orion is visible in the skies I dig this out and use it to work out what else I can find in the night (or early morning) sky.

It is very easy to use and can also be explained to kids. I have used it in the West of Ireland and Southern England to remind myself of the night sky I was so fascinated by as a teenager.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to know which stars are out tonight or if you've seen a pattern in the sky and wonder if it was Gemini or Aries... this is just what you need. Very simple to use, this cardboard (hardwearing plastic, actually) computer shows you exactly which stars are where on every night of the year. If it's not on the chart, then it's probably a planet - turn over and this gadget also comes equipped with simple tables of which planets are where as well. In short, just what you need for stargazing, and so cheap too!
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Format: Paperback
Great value for money. Clear and easy to read. Perfect for beginners or experienced astronomers alike. This is the bigger size and comes in a plastic case to protect it.
Has the planets locations on the back.For use in UK latitudes.
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Format: Paperback
I bought one of these around twenty years ago, and have recently replaced it with a new one. The planisphere shows the constellations as they wheel around the sky according to the season, and the time of observation.
The added bonus is the table of planets, (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). You can work out the rough position of these by referring to the Right Ascension (degrees round the edge of the planisphere) for the planet and seeing where it crosses the ecliptic (the sun's path through the sky).
It is rather like a slide rule in comparison to a calculator; you simply 'dial up' two values (date and time) and read off the information you need. And it doesn't need batteries!
Take outside with a red torch (a rear cycle light is as good as any), Collins Gem - Stars, a pair of binoculars, and you're well away!
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