Print and Assemble Your Own Star Chart

Image of a planisphere (star wheel)
A planisphere (star wheel) for latitude 51.5 North

Star wheels are an inexpensive tool that you can use to determine which constellations are above you in the night sky at any time during any month of the year.  They work by aligning a wheel with constellations on it to a day of a month. There is a window that shows what the night sky would look like at that specific alignment. The constellations that are towards the middle of the window are the ones that are highest up in the sky. The ones that are towards the edges of the window are the constellations that you would find closest to a horizon. You can make your very own star wheel with some cardstock, scissors, and a printer! The Lawrence Hall of Science has very many downloadable DIY star wheels created by Alan Gould as part of the Hands-On Universe project. If you do not have access to a printer there is also an Online Planetarium provided by Dominic Ford with that serves the same purpose.