Recommended Star Maps

There is a wealth of fantastic resources on the internet I could only have dreamt of when I had my first telescope in 1968.

Hard copy for downloading and printing

I still have my copy of Norton’s Star Atlas (1969 reprint) that uses maps drawn up in 1950 but today I use the excellent Sky Version of this ( map printed out on 80+ pages of A4. An alternative which gets good reviews from users is

Star map laptop/desktop applications

My favourite desktop star map is the locally installed version of Stellarium ( There is also a web version ( but the installed version is more flexible and useful for me. Cartes du Ciel ( also gets great reviews.

Phone/table apps

None of the printed maps are much use when observing as they are not detailed enough. That is where an app is needed. The Stellarium app is excellent and allows you to identify and locate objects in the sky but my favourite app when at the telescope is Star Chart or SkySafari for the iPad and SkEye for Android. SkEye is more functional and not as pretty as Stellarium but it is just as powerful and also allows me to target and locate objects with my telescope. That said, the screen size of the tablet makes things a lot easier.

How I find difficult objects

Sometimes a dim object like M1 can be difficult to locate as it may take a long time looking through the eyepiece before it becomes visible. Find out how I do this.



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