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Learn About the Stars With a Star Finder


The Star Finder is an easy and fun way to explore constellations. Valid any night of the year, it also lets you identify stars and planets.

If you observe a bright light that does not move with the star wheel, it could be a planet. The brightest planets tend to travel nearer the ecliptic.

Easy to use

Star finders provide an ideal way for beginners to discover the stars. These devices can also prove invaluable to astronomers and navigators – they require little training for use and come in multiple forms, from handheld finders to telescope mounts that display sky maps to help identify stars. Many local stores sell star finders for purchase.

A good star finder will help you identify which constellations are currently visible in your sky and forecast what it will look like at different times and dates. This feature is beneficial in cities where light pollution may obstruct night sky views. Furthermore, most top star finders have a “dark side” feature, which shows what it would appear without artificial lighting interference.

Once your Star Finder is set for a specific date and time, its cutout will reveal a sky map with edges corresponding to all sides of the horizon, with compass points around its perimeter. When using it, the south should always be on the bottom while the north should always be at the top – this device was intended to work at latitudes up to 45 degrees north, making it suitable for most regions across Canada and the US.

Star finders provide more than just names of stars and constellations; they also show the direction of the celestial equator, making it easier for novice stargazers to locate constellations visible in their sky. Furthermore, this direction of the celestial equator can also be used to find coordinates of specific stars that will then appear in an index of stars display.

Various stargazing apps can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet and used for stargazing, with some free versions featuring ads, while paid versions often provide more details and features. It is wise to read reviews of star gazing apps before choosing.

Easy to store

If you want to bring a star finder along on a camping or backpacking excursion, this mini version fits easily into any cargo pocket. Year-round, you can learn about the night sky by matching the date with the time on the inner disk sleeve. Plus, it comes with a red night vision filter for a flashlight and a planet chart! Plus, its durable, waterproof construction means this finder won’t let you down!

Start a take-and-make activity this month by downloading and sharing the Star Finder template with patrons and folding instructions and rules for star finding. A perfect training for families or groups!

Easy to carry

Star finders are portable tools designed to identify constellations and planets in the night sky. A star finder is also an engaging way for children to learn about various stars’ colors – making this tool perfect for home, camping trips, or at family science fairs!

The Dunlap Institute Star Finder is invaluable for understanding the night sky. Featuring a rotating circular overlay that displays through an opening in its cover what the sky will look like on any given date and time, its star wheel is reversible, so you can select either side to start on. For example, selecting October 1st would show stars visible at 10 PM; its outer sleeve shows standard (non-Daylight Saving) time while its inner sleeve shows Daylight Saving time times.

Star Finders are lightweight and portable. You can store one easily in a backpack or purse to take with you when heading outside and use it to practice reading the stars. When doing so, have a friend select one of the squares on the top four and tell you how many times to open and close the star finder up and down, side to side, etc. For instance, if someone selects square 6, you should open it. Close six times, etc, until that person chooses their constellation, which corresponds with an alphabet letter that represents their constellation choice, then use an alphabetically alphabetized letter that corresponds with that constellation picked before retaking this exercise when choosing another square that corresponds to another constellation selected before repeating this process until chosen constellation is chosen then letter corresponds with that constellation set before returning it to its letter associated with its constellation desired letter that corresponds.