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on 10 December 2017
I can't believe some of the comments about this. From what I know as an amateur astronomer, the latitude is set for London (or 51.5N), so works anywhere in UK. The stars printed on it are not luminous, but you can buy a luminous version by the same company. The ecliptic line is dashed, and any planets out there will be found on or very close to this. On the back is information and dates for the easiest found planets. There is also a small blue X on the planisphere, which is actually your overhead position. In all, an excellent devise to assist location of the main constellations.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 December 2015
I got this for my eight-year-old daughter, who has started stargazing for a couple of Brownie Interest Badges, and is intensely keen on the subject.

It is much bigger than I expected, being a fraction larger than a dinner plate. My daughter has to use both hands to hold it, and someone else has to operate the light source. It's a thin plastic wheel over a cardboard base, and my daughter picked up how it works very quickly. The front is the very detailed star map, with the plastic dial for the date and time and degrees, and on the back are calculations for when the planets are visible. It is enclosed inside a sturdy cardboard folder, that contains detailed instructions on how to use it, and then there's a clear soft plastic sleeve that goes over that, to protect it from weather.

My daughter is poring over it in her bed, looking up the stars for all sorts of dates and times, including midday, when the stars aren't even visible. Definitely a hit gift.
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on 1 October 2017
After stumbling across star navigation charts on YouTube I developed an interest in finding more about the night sky. Planisphere, is a really great aid to identify the major constellations and planets visible to the eye in the night sky their location for the time of night and the date. Within a few nights I was able to locate stars and take my first photograph of Jupiter with my DSLR on a tripod, in addition to the major stars. You will also need a small torch to read the Planisphere outside at night, must have a red lens (or use a red felt tip to colour lens, this works great) since a fraction of a second of white light ruins your night sight.
Buy the Planisphere and get hooked.
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on 6 March 2014
Without doubt this is probably the best six quid I have ever spent, on anything. Unlike some star maps, this map has good contrast, with yellow and white text on a black background. It comes in a plastic sleeve like an old 12" vinyl record cover, together with 2 cardboard inserts, and with that you can keep it protected, eg stuff it down the side of your car seat or in a holdall for example and it won't get damaged. I drive in the evenings for a living, and have it with me at ALL times.

I have taken particular interest in picking out the constellations of the Zodiac, and the planets, and thanks to this map I was able to plan out months in advance which dates and times I would be able to view a certain constellation or star. (It is important to remember when setting the time on the planisphere that you must set it to the UTC time - so in British summer time for example if it is 11pm on the clock then the UTC time is 10pm). Despite poor weather conditions I was lucky in the early hours last weekend to see my own Zodiac constellation Scorpius and its brightest star Antares, along with Libra with Saturn, and Virgo with Mars. Also that night I saw what must have been a satellite of some kind, possibly the international space station, crossing the sky, too slow to be a shooting star, and not an aircraft as not flashing. The speed at which some shooting stars cross the sky is utterly incredible, though I haven't seen that many since around last November.

I have been able to track all the major visible planets ie Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn easily with this planisphere. And together with information from earthsky.org I was able to see the near conjunction of Saturn and Mercury on 25 Nov last year, and I was surprised at how bright Mercury actually was. Note due to its fast movements Mercury is not recorded on the planet tables of this planisphere, but information on it can easily be garnered online, eg from earthsky.org.

For gaining an overall orientation to the night sky this planisphere is really excellent. But you may want a more detailed star map also for further information. This planisphere is great to hold out in front of you whilst you view the night sky, with a red astronomer's head-torch on (such as : Red LED & White L.E.D. Multiposition Adjustable HEADTORCH - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AYXG3E0/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) .
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on 11 October 2016
Flimsier than any planisphere I've ever owned, this one arrived in bent packaging within a huge delivery box, so I suspect this was a return that Amazon had decided to send out again. The central metal ring hadn't been fixed straight so that the two sheets had come apart. My old one was more rigid and didn't flop about like this. Philips, you've hit the point where cheapskate production is damaging your product. Please go back to higher specs.
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on 4 August 2016
This would be my third. The first two disappearing under a tide of scratches. I note the new tables of planet orbital longitude. My second planisphere was sold with a tracing paper graticule for the altazimuth positions. This boasts of using a straight edge to locate planets and the times of the movement of the sun. I wonder if some clear plastic arrangement that would clip into the pivot rivet hole when needed and lost just like the tracing paper when especially needed.
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on 9 March 2011
The philips planishere a must for anyone with an interest in astronomy.
It is a good 12 inches in diameter and is made of plastic, so easy to keep clean.
If you use glasses for reading you may find it a little hard to read clearly especially under red light as the text for various stars and constellations etc, varies from fairly clear BOLD type to very small print and it is all in yellow.

Now reading the instructions i kept on looking for this blue cross they kept referring too, thinking it would be a small blue cross hair where the rivet in the centre is located, but i could not find it.
Eventually i did locate the so called blue cross which you are supposed to position above your head when you are out viewing the sky, it is a little faint blue cross about 1mm in size about 1 inch from the center rivet inline with 12noon or the south marker, how on earth (or mars, jupiter etc) you are supposed to locate this is mind boggling, i could hardly find it under bright indoor lighting, eventually i seperated the 2 pieces of the planishere and then i saw it (only just).

The best advice i can give is learn from books, where Polaris (celestial north star) is located and look through the center rivet so you can see it and off you go, things should make sense.

Good luck & Clear skies......
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on 29 March 2017
High qualilty, with all the right information, but a bit floppy. I wish it came on a rigid base, so you can hold it up while you look at the stars. What you get is a plastic cover, and 4 large pages of excellent astrological information and diagrams, and the excellent planisphere which is made of slightly floppy plastic.
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on 6 April 2013
I have known Philip's Planispheres for many years and they can be very useful. I dont really like the floppy format as much as the old rigid format, 'Floppies' tend to 'dog ear' rather quickly, although I can see that that might be good for business! The accompanying information is well thought out and very helpful. Yes, I will replace it when it eventually 'dog-ears' itself to death but I will try to make that a long way off!
If you intend to use it whilst observing, it is a good idea to buy a really good LED red light torch and have something which is not a precarious perch or wet grass to put the planisphere safely down on!.
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on 21 January 2012
If you like astronomy then every now and then you want to know what is going to be visible at the time you plan to observe. It is remarkably simple to use. Simply turn the top disc for the time to align up with the date and you can see what is available at the time. Turn it forward to see what rises and what sets during your timeframe. When out and about you will need to know the general direction that you are looking in to home in on the constellations that you want to look at. Best thing is that it will be centuries before it is out of date. Only thing to do is make sure that you have the right one for your latitude.
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