Uncle Al's Sky Wheels
Here is an astronomical tool that will help you find constellations of stars and other things in the sky. All you need to do is download the Starwheel file (PDF; 1.2 Mb), print them, cut them out, and assemble them following the directions that are on the printout.
If necessary, get Adobe pdf reader software
Once you have your star wheel in hand, directions below on how
to use it will make sense...
How to Use the Sky Wheel
To find a constellation in the sky
using the Star Wheel, follow these steps:
1. Set date and time of night: Rotate
the Star Wheel in the Star Holder until your desired
time of night lines up with the desired date.
2. View it right-side up: For the constellation
you want to find, note which horizon it is closest
to. Orient the Star Wheel Holder so that
horizon is at the bottom. Then
that part of the sky will look right-side up to you. For example,
if your constellation is closest to the northern horizon,
flip the Star Holder upside down so that you are reading northern
horizon at the bottom of the oval.
3. Note how high the constellation is in the sky: Is
the constellation closer to the zenith (center of the map)
or closer to the horizon?
4. Memorize the shape of the constellation.
5. Then look for the constellation in the sky and
Uncle Al's Sky Wheels were created by the LHS
Hands-On Universe project.
© 2005 by the Regents of the University of California