Locating objects on a Planisphere

The positions of stars are found using their celestial co-ordinates just as objects on Earth can be located by latitude and longitude.

Depending on where you stand on Earth, what you see in the sky will vary. Using a planisphere allows us to work out what is above us and where it has been or will be.

This activity will help you understand how a planisphere works. You will learn to locate constellations and stars on a planisphere, and to assign celestial co-ordinates to stars. The activity also explores the visibility of objects in the sky throughout the year.

Before beginning the activity, you may wish to look at the ‘Calibrating the Planisphere’ activity first and also be aware of which latitude planisphere you are using:

Calibrating the Planisphere

Teacher Guide

Student Guides

Keywords: planisphere, observing the sky, mapping, co-ordinates