Southern Star Wheel
The Southern Star Wheel is a revolutionary new planisphere that is a substantial improvement on previous planispheres.
Unlike other planispheres, the Southern Star Wheel is customisable.
If you live in the big city and can only see the brightest stars (or are still learning your way around the night sky), you can select a simplified "star disk" that shows only the major stars. If you want to learn the shapes of the constellations, use the star disk that delineates their stick figures.
More experienced users can use an advanced star disk that shows many more (fainter) stars. And if you're interested in the ethnoastronomy of southern Africa, there is a special star disk that shows some of the most famous indigenous stars and patterns.
From time to time, new star disks will be released, and will be available for free download here. Note that the Wheel is only available in black and white – a colour version may be arranged on special request.
The Southern Star Wheel has been designed for high-quality printing on A3-sized paper (although it will work fine on the smaller A4 format also). For best results, print it on heavy paper (say, 160gsm) for durability; you may even want to laminate the various parts.
Once the separate pieces have been printed, simply cut them out and assemble. Complete instructions are included in the PDF.
This is a great addition to your astronomy outreach repertoire – many basic astronomy concepts can be explained using it.
Let me know if you find it useful!
Download your free copy of the Southern Star Wheel from the Deep Sky Observer's Companion website.
From the Zoutpansberger (Wed, Jul 15).
From the Zoutpansberger (Thu, Jul 30).
Grade 5 learners at Ridgeway Independent with their Star Wheels (Kos Coronaios, 2009 June)
nothing more to see. please move along.