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Planisphere recommendation

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#1 nimitz69

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 09:36 AM

In April I'll be heading to several places where I'll likely have no internet capability so my trusty Sky Safari will be useless ....

 

anyone have a recommendation for a Planisphere that includes at least the Messier objects in it?  And it needs to be at 10 deg latitude ...


Edited by nimitz69, 13 March 2019 - 09:37 AM.


#2 Jeff Struve

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 09:44 AM

I use Stellarium... no internet is required


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#3 mrowlands

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 09:49 AM

Sky Safari should work fine without internet.

 

Mike R.


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#4 Mike W.

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 09:59 AM

Depends on how far away you're planning on going.

 

Phone apps or get the current Sky & telescope or Astronomy magazines to take with you 



#5 Tony Flanders

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 10:06 AM

Traditional planispheres don't work well at low latitudes due to the fact that almost the entire sky is visible near the equator. Plotting this in the usual way, on a single piece of cardboard, would lead to outrageous distortion near the edges.

 

The only equatorial planisphere I'm aware of is the one sold by Starizona. A very clever design.

 

But as others have said, lack of internet is a non-issue for planetarium programs and apps such as Sky Safari. They may use the internet for certain peripheral functions, such as updating orbital elements of comets and asteroids, but that can easily be done in advance. And all the core functions are completely self-contained.



#6 msl615

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 10:08 AM

I also use Starry Night for cases without internet. However, if you are looking to do this without a portable computer, then there are some basic mobile apps for your phone that work as stand-alones as noted by previous posts.  Finally, if no electronics at all, then back to our methods from years ago,  with books and references print outs. ""Turn right at Orion" might be just the ticket for this trip. 

 

Are you going to places that are really dark?  Let us know.

 

Have fun,

Mike



#7 HeathM98

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 10:49 AM

Rather than a planisphere, I’d go with S&T’s Pocket Sky Atlas.


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#8 N3p

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 11:12 AM

I always use the same 3 tools.

 

The night sky planisphere  which is a very decent one.

https://www.davidcha...es-star-charts/

 

My usual atlas, the Cambridge double star atlas, it's full of DSOs too.

https://www.cambridg...n=9781107534209

 

And a dim red light, both tools are required for me and I use them all the time with great results.


Edited by N3p, 13 March 2019 - 11:13 AM.


#9 Hesiod

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 11:15 AM

I was not aware that SkySafari would need Internet.

Anyway, a pocket atlas is always an excellent backup; a few years ago I purchased this

https://www.teleskop...schreibung.html

 

which is the "next step" from pocket atlases: it covers all the sky in A4-sized charts.



#10 Sketcher

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 12:16 PM

Depending on unmentioned details, it's possible that Sky&Telescope's Messier Card would be sufficient for what you want.

 

Years ago I made my own (large diameter) planisphere, complete with my local horizon and all the Messier objects; but my latitude is midway between the equator and the north pole -- making a traditional planisphere feasible.  Come to think of it, my homemade version, on the flip side, showed the southern hemisphere sky from 45* south latitude!

 

Plenty of possibilities exist if you want to get creative!


Edited by Sketcher, 13 March 2019 - 12:19 PM.


#11 JOEinCO

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 12:44 PM

Pick up a $4 Cambridge Star Atlas on eBay. Problem solved..... waytogo.gif 

 

https://www.ebay.com...EAAOSwroFbgEAN 


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#12 spencerj

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 12:49 PM

Rather than a planisphere, I’d go with S&T’s Pocket Sky Atlas.

Exactly.  That is all I used for a number of years.  Thousands of targets.  Covers the whole sky.  Doesn't need an internet connection and the battery in mine is still good.  


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#13 Tony Flanders

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 04:27 PM

Rather than a planisphere, I’d go with S&T’s Pocket Sky Atlas.

They perform totally different, almost non-overlapping jobs.

 

A planisphere shows the constellations and possibly a smattering of the brightest deep-sky objects in very little detail, but is ideal for telling you exactly which parts of the sky will be visible at any season and time of night.

 

A star atlas shows the sky in considerable detail, displaying far more stars than any planisphere as well as hundreds or thousands of deep-sky objects. But it doesn't help tell you what's visible when, nor help in orienting the sky to the horizon.

 

I agree that the Pocket Sky Atlas is the overall best choice of star atlas for most beginners -- and many other people as well! But I could easily name and defend ten other plausible choices. Don't get me started!

 

Sky Safari Plus can do more than all existing print star atlases combined, as well as all planispheres and astrolabes combined. But it's not nearly as pretty -- especially compared to an astrolabe.

 

In case you're curious, an astrolabe is neither more nor less than a planisphere, but realized in metal rather than plastic and cardboard.


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#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:51 AM

This planisphere has all the Messier objects.  The latitude requirement is a different matter.

 

https://agenaastro.c...re-mop-001.html


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#15 HeathM98

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:05 PM

They perform totally different, almost non-overlapping jobs.

 

A planisphere shows the constellations and possibly a smattering of the brightest deep-sky objects in very little detail, but is ideal for telling you exactly which parts of the sky will be visible at any season and time of night.

 

A star atlas shows the sky in considerable detail, displaying far more stars than any planisphere as well as hundreds or thousands of deep-sky objects. But it doesn't help tell you what's visible when, nor help in orienting the sky to the horizon.

 

I agree that the Pocket Sky Atlas is the overall best choice of star atlas for most beginners -- and many other people as well! But I could easily name and defend ten other plausible choices. Don't get me started!

 

Sky Safari Plus can do more than all existing print star atlases combined, as well as all planispheres and astrolabes combined. But it's not nearly as pretty -- especially compared to an astrolabe.

 

In case you're curious, an astrolabe is neither more nor less than a planisphere, but realized in metal rather than plastic and cardboard.

 

Yeah, I was mostly basing my recommendation off his stated goal and reason. Given the latitude, most planisperes don’t go that low due to distortion. And since he’s just wanting to find his way around and locate messier’s from there without internet access, I just assume he’s able to figure out what’s up at the time in question, and then get to the appropriate chart in a pocket atlas and pick out the messier’s and relevant DSO’s and go from there. It just sounded like he was more needing a chart for object location than a planisphere to see what was up that night from his mention of wanting Messier objects.

 

The other options are, as mentioned, use a phone app as they don’t really need internet to work, or use a planisphere of the lowest latitude he can find and realize it won’t show all the southern sky he’s seeing as he’s a good 10° lower than what it will represent.

 

It just seemed to me for his stated purpose that a pocket sized atlas would better serve his needs.



#16 spencerj

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:00 PM

Yeah.  I assumed he was looking for "objects" to view and not just the constellations that would be up.  And Messier objects implies Northern Hemisphere so there should be plenty of stars to orient yourself.  Plus the chart summary in a typical small Atlas is kind of like a "Planisphere".

 

Even as beginner, I never personally got a lot of use out of an actual Planishpere.  Before I got any other reference material, I tried to use the fold-out of the Sky & Telescope magazine.  Never had much luck panning around with my 4.5XT looking for M1 based on the location marked on the fold-out. It was a good thing Jupiter and Saturn were high in the sky that winter.  Having success finding something bought me enough time to figure things out.    



#17 nimitz69

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:29 PM

hmmmm .... I recently tried using Sky Safari when I had no Internet and the App wouldn't open .... I'll try it again.  I'd MUCH prefer to use my trusty Ipad & SkySafari as it is always with me.  I use it connected wireless via a SkiFi module with my 14" Dob so I can wander around & not be tried to an HC - works great but for this trip it will be just a manual EQ mount so all I need is to see where things are & then I'll go find them ...

 

and yes, heading to Bortie 1/2 skies ....



#18 nimitz69

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:35 PM

so I checked and yes, the App works when I have wifi turned off but I couldn't find a way to manually input Lat/long so that it knows where you are.  Is there someway to manually input your location?



#19 ascii

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 05:19 PM

Under the Settings/Location menu in SkySafari, you can set your location by choosing a nearby city from a list, use the map to set your location, or enter latitude and longitude.

 

Be sure to check for the appropriate Daylight Saving Time setting for your location. It can be found under Settings/Date&Time.

 

One other thing.  If your iPad is one that is equipped with cellular data, it contains a GPS chip that will allow it to set your location automatically. If it is a Wi-Fi only iPad, you'll have to use one of the manual methods mentioned above.

 

Be sure to dry run all of this before you travel, just in case.



#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:13 PM

S&T's Deep Sky Map 600 has a lot of objects including the Messiers.  It folds up.  It spreads out, like a 1960s road map.  It is cheap.  It is not electronic.

 

Greg N



#21 nimitz69

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:36 PM

Under the Settings/Location menu in SkySafari, you can set your location by choosing a nearby city from a list, use the map to set your location, or enter latitude and longitude.

 

Be sure to check for the appropriate Daylight Saving Time setting for your location. It can be found under Settings/Date&Time.

 

One other thing.  If your iPad is one that is equipped with cellular data, it contains a GPS chip that will allow it to set your location automatically. If it is a Wi-Fi only iPad, you'll have to use one of the manual methods mentioned above.

 

Be sure to dry run all of this before you travel, just in case.

perfect, thx!



#22 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:21 AM

S&T's Deep Sky Map 600 has a lot of objects including the Messiers.  It folds up.  It spreads out, like a 1960s road map.  It is cheap.  It is not electronic.

Much as I would like to take credit for it, Deep Map 600 is an Orion product, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Sky & Telescope. Cartography by Wil Tirion, object selection and data by Steve Gottlieb. I have no idea how it came to be and was coordinated; maybe Steve can enlighten us.
 
Regardless, it's a superb product. I take one with me all the time just in case all else fails.


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#23 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:26 AM

so I checked and yes, the App works when I have wifi turned off but I couldn't find a way to manually input Lat/long so that it knows where you are.  Is there someway to manually input your location?

I have created entries for all my usual sites in the User-Defined Location list, as specified in a different answer. At a strange location, I usually pick a nearby city from the built-in database. Being off by 100 miles has negligible effect for 99% of all purposes.

 

By the way, I think it's really rash to be 100% reliant on Sky Safari. Smart phones and tablets behave very poorly in cold weather, and one common scenario for failure is that the battery drains to zero in a matter of minutes. Therefore, I always take some kind of paper backup unless I'm planning to restrict myself to stuff that I know by memory.


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#24 Chucky

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:12 AM

<<  By the way, I think it's really rash to be 100% reliant on Sky Safari.>  

 

That's why I like my Nexus DSC.  This unit not only provides a link to SF, but also acts as a stand alone database to many thousands of objects.....just punch in an object and null out the display.  Like Tony indicated, I usually have some paper charts ready as backup.  Several I had laminated for quick reference.


Edited by Chucky, 15 March 2019 - 07:17 AM.


#25 nimitz69

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:45 AM

appreciate the feedback guys but I don't image in cold weather - ever ... smile.gif.  The coldest I've ever been was 41 deg and the only reason I was out was because it was the total lunar eclipse .... been in Florida for 19 years & I have zero cold tolerance so when its really cold it would have to be a spectacular event to get me out.  Of course I am looking to setup my remote desktop so i could image on those rare occasions when it is bitter cold here & clear but i certainly won't be traveling to any remote sights when its cold .... smile.gif

 

"Being off by 100 miles has negligible effect for 99% of all purposes."    that's good because I definitely won't be near any major city most of the time ...




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