Star Chart For Early Autumn

September/October 2010

our chart shows the major stars, planets and constellations visible from Canada and the northern United States within one hour of these times:

■ early september: 11:30 p.m.; late september: 10:30 p.m.

■ early october: 9:30 p.m.; late october: dusk the edge of the chart represents the horizon; the overhead point is at centre. On a moonless night in the country, you will see more stars than are shown here; deep in the city, you will see fewer.The ecliptic is the celestial pathway of the Moon and planets. The star groups straddling this line are known as the zodiac constellations. The Moon is shown for selected dates.

using the star chart outdoors: The chart is most effective when you use about one-quarter of it at a time, which roughly equals a comfortable field of view in a given direction. Outdoors, match the horizon compass direction on the chart with the actual direction you are facing. Don't be confused by the east and west points on the chart lying opposite their location on a map of the Earth. When the chart is held up to match the sky, with the direction you are facing at the bottom, the chart directions match the compass points. For best results when reading the chart outdoors, use a small flashlight heavily dimmed with red plastic or layers of brown paper. Unfiltered lights greatly reduce night-vision sensitivity.

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