How to read a Star Chart?

How to read a Star Chart?

Answered
Debashri Banerjee asked April 20, 2016

1 answer

Nikita Rawat April 20, 2016

Star charts are basically guides which help in knowing where exactly certain celestial objects are placed and names of many brighter stars labeled.  
 
It is impossible to identify which star or planet you might have come across via telescope or binoculars had you not been assisted by star charts.  
 
Reading a star chart is simple if you go through it step by step. 
 

  • Find an isolated place, away from lights as light makes fainter stars difficult to see.  
  • After giving your eyes 5 -10 minutes to adapt to darkness, throw a red LED flashlight on the star chart.  
  • Pick a direction to face, supposedly find the North Star and you will face North and rotate the chart accordingly so that the directions in the chart correspond to the directions in the sky.  
  • It is not possible to read the chart all at once therefore pick out a small portion of the chart and identify what you see on the chart by trying to look for it in the sky.  
  • Since the stars keep turning their way around the sky at fixed intervals, correspond to the time given in the chart for a particular star to be found at the time you are looking up to the sky.  

Slowly you will learn which star you are looking at and how to find the star in the sky that is given on the star chart.

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