Astronomy Star Charts

Astronomy star charts are literally maps of the night sky. They date back centuries, because first farmers, and then sailors, realized that the best way to mark the passage of the seasons and to plot a true course was to use the stars as markers. While farmers had other hints, the weather is not always the same year to year. Especially in the middle east, which is the cradle of civilization. How do you know when to best plant crops or prepare for a river flooding? Mark it against the change in the stars and make sure you understand the relationship. It was logical to farmers then and stars are still considered when marking the change of the seasons.  Sailors, however, had nothing else to navigate by. In the wide open ocean, everything is just blue water and blue skies, with no other markers for navigational purposes.

Now star charts are still heavily used, though they are mostly used by astronomers who chart the night sky. They create the chart and mark it as a grid, so it’s easier to use and easy to understand. All of the stars are placed on this grid, including ones everybody would recognize, like constellations. Anybody can have access to these charts, because they’re online, sold as posters, and available in books. In fact, if you buy a telescope with the intention of becoming an amateur astronomer and part-time star watcher, finding and using these charts will be in your best interest. You can use them as a guide to help you begin your astronomical hobby or career.

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