How To Use The Star Maps

You can use the star maps outdoors to identify the constellations and stars you see in the night sky and to locate those you want to observe.

Figure 1.3. A time exposure taken with a camera aimed at the north celestial pole over the U.S. Kitt Peak National Observatory shows star trails that mirror Earth's actual rotation. Kitt Peak is a 2100-m- (6900-ft)-high site about 30 km (50 miles) outside of Tucson, Arizona. ►www.noao.edu/kpno^

Figure 1.3. A time exposure taken with a camera aimed at the north celestial pole over the U.S. Kitt Peak National Observatory shows star trails that mirror Earth's actual rotation. Kitt Peak is a 2100-m- (6900-ft)-high site about 30 km (50 miles) outside of Tucson, Arizona. ►www.noao.edu/kpno^

Choose the map that pictures the sky at the month and time you are stargazing. Turn the map so that the name of the compass direction you are facing appears across the bottom. Then, from bottom to center, your star map pictures the sky as you are viewing it from your horizon to the point directly over your head.

For example, if you are facing north about 10:00 p.m. in early April, turn the map so that the word north is at the bottom. From the horizon up, you may observe Cassiopeia, Cepheus, the Little Dipper in Ursa Minor, and the Big Dipper in Ursa Major.

Name a prominent constellation that shines in the south at about 8:00 p.m. in early February._

Answer: Orion.

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