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Invaluable for both beginners and advanced observers, Philip's Planisphere (Latitude 32° North) is an essential travel accessory for astronomy enthusiasts visiting the USA, North Africa, the Middle East or Southern Japan, for example. To use this practical hour-by-hour tracker of the stars and constellations, you simply turn the oval panel to the required date and time to reveal the whole sky visible from your location. The map, by the well-known celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, shows stars down to magnitude 5, plus several deep-sky objects, such as the Pleiades, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Orion Nebula (M42). Because the planets move round the Sun, their positions in the sky are constantly changing and they cannot be marked permanently on the map; however, the back of the planisphere has tables giving the positions of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn for every month until 2020.
The planisphere is supplied in a full-colour wallet that contains illustrated step-by-step instructions for how to use the planisphere, how to locate planets, and how to work out the time of sunrise or sunset for any day of the year. It explains all the details that can be seen on the map - the magnitudes of stars, the ecliptic and the celestial coordinates. In addition, the section 'Exploring the skies, season by season' introduces the novice astronomer to the principal celestial objects visible at different times of the year. Major constellations are used as signposts to navigate the night sky, locating hard-to-find stars and some fascinating deep-sky objects. The movement of the stars is also explained.
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