Uncle Al's Star Wheels are inexpensive star maps, adjustable for any time of night in any month of the year. Such maps are also called planispheres. These star wheels were created by the Hall's Hands-On Universe project, and based on the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) Sky Challenger, a set of 6 star wheels, formerly available through the Hall's Discovery Corner Store.
To Use the Star Wheels
Download a Star Wheel for your area
- English - Northern Hemisphere Star Wheel (1.7 Mb, PDF; May 2009) includes holder and 2 wheels (basic constellations and coordinates wheels)
- Higher Latitude Star Wheel (60°+; Alaska; 1.7 Mb)
- Kepler Star Wheel (has Kepler target field marked, as well as all naked eye stars known to have exoplanets -- periodically updated)
- Japanese Star Wheel (1.6 Mb, PDF; prepared by Kaoru Kimura)
- Icelandic Star Wheel (64°N; 1.4 Mb, PDF; prepared by Sverrir Gudmundsson for the Stjörnufræðivefurinn website)
- Blank Star Wheel (no lines or labels)
- English - Uncle Al's Star Wheel - Southern Hemisphere (1.2 Mb PDF; Aug 2011)
- Español - Planisferio del Tío Al - Hemisferio Sur (1.2 Mb PDF; Aug 2011)
- Português - Planisfério Celeste do Tio Al (1.2 Mb PDF; Aug 2011)
- Pulsar Star Wheels (1.2 Mb PDF; Aug 2011; in English) - pulsar target objects from Parkes Radio Telescope.
Related Activity: Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt
Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt lets you discover a planet by the “transit method” like what the NASA Kepler Mission used: watching a star and hunting for the tiny drops in brightness that happen when the planet passes (transits) in front it! How many properties of the planet do you think you can know just from a few minuscule dips in brightness?
Download the Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt (SWF ZIP, 2.4 MB)
This is a downloadable flash file and may not work with mobile operating systems.
Download Messier Catalog Excel File