Sky & Telescope magazine adopted David Chandler's Night Sky Planisphere in 1976 and has promoted it ever since. The Night Sky is widely recognized by the amateur astronomy and educational communities as the overall best planisphere on the market!
David Chandler Company's plastic planispheres are available in Large and Small sizes
Sizes: Large (10" x 8.5") with 8" diameter map, Small (6.25" x 5") with 5" diameter map
Latitude Ranges: 20°-30°, 30°-40°, 40°-50°, 50°-60° North
The Night Sky Planisphere is printed with dark stars on a light background for easy nighttime readability. The constellations are drawn simply, emphasizing the brighter stars. Coordinate grid lines are shown without being intrusive. A selection of deep sky objects for binocular viewing is included. With instructions printed on the back for handy reference you will be locating constellations and select deep sky objects within minutes.
These versions are made in the USA using durable plastic facing for the front and back and are secured with no-corrosion brass rivets. These planispheres are built to last; you will probably go through several telescope upgrades in your lifetime but will never need to upgrade your planisphere.
Selecting the Right Chart for Your Latitude
You should choose a planisphere version based on the location (your latitude) from which you will be observing. Each latitude version of The Night Sky is optimized for the specific latitude zone to provide accurate horizons and minimum distortion.
You can refer to the maps below to help choose the correct latitude version. If you are located directly on a separator line, either planisphere will work well, but we recommend you purchase the one closer to the equator.
The Distortion Solution! Conventional planispheres severely distort the sky near the southern horizon. The distortion results from trying to stretch the whole dome of the sky onto a single flat map. The Night Sky is NOT a conventional planisphere! No flat map can remove all distortion, but The Night Sky eliminates over 90% of the distortion inherent in conventional 1-sided planispheres.
The Night Sky is Designed to be Used!
- Unlike coffee-table planispheres, The Night Sky is printed with dark stars on a light background, for easy nighttime readability.
- The constellations are drawn simply, emphasizing the brighter stars. (The constellation patterns were designed in collaboration with the editors of Sky & Telescope magazine.)
- Coordinate grid lines are shown without being intrusive. Coordinates are shown because they can be useful for cross referencing with star atlases.
- A selection of deep sky objects for binocular viewing is included. It is important to point out to beginners that the best first telescope is a pair of binoculars. You may already have what it takes to start observing tonight!
- The Night Sky is larger than it looks! The map scale is larger than on similar-size planispheres because the whole sky does not have to be shown on a single map. Even the 5" pocket version is large enough to be very readable. Actual size is 6.25 x 5 x .15 in.