THE PLANISPHERIC ASTROLABE
HAVE THE STARS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS WITH YOUR OWN PERSONAL ASTROLABE
Ideal as an introduction to the stars, constellations and the motion of the cosmos for casual, curious skygazers. Also invaluable for more experienced astronomers!
This simple to use handheld device is a personal map of the stars
VISIBLE FROM WHERE YOU LIVE
The perfect introduction to the night sky, pointing out and naming the stars and can accurately tell you their altitude and direction
This 2000 year old device was the world's first scientific instrument. During the middle ages when it first came to Europe, Kings would fight wars to possess one – now you can have one that has been made easy to use, is digitally accurate to your location and hand-crafted out of modern durable weatherproof materials
using an astrolabe
Your personal astrolabe comes with full instructions on how to:
1. Find the name of a star/constellation you can see in the sky within minutes
2. Find the best time and direction to see a star/constellation of your choice in the sky (e.g tells you how to find your zodiac constellation)
3. Tell the time with your astrolabe
4. Track the position of The Sun and the sunrise/sunset time and direction for any day of the year
plus tips for using an astrolabe, a history of the astrolabe and some starmaps
We always have astrolabes in stock for every UK county and state of the US (custom astrolabe can be made for the rest of the world) that are usually projected from an ancient point of historical interest. These astrolabes are accurate for over 500 miles from their projection point and accurate for around 1000 years (future or past)
on the back of the astrolabe is a quick reference starmap that tells you the names of constellations and stars
We can’t get across how easy an astrolabe is to use without you being outside at night holding one, but at the bottom of the page is a picture of what one looks like.
- You can see it has stars and constellations printed on its main plate plus the Sun is represented there too. The months run round the edge where every day of the year is marked off
- Overlaying this is a spinning transparent disc that has the time, in 24 hours printed round the edge that once lined up with the months will show star, constellation and Sun positions for any time or day.
- The disk has North, South, East And West printed on it as well as marks that represent every 15 around the horizon to show which direction to look in to see the relevant heavenly body. It also has altitude lines to pinpoint exactly where a star can be found in the sky
- The back has an alidade (a simple type of sextant used to measure altitude) and a quick reference map with the names of the constellations and stars on it
It all comes with full instructions, a history of the astrolabe, tips and some starmaps
the sextant on the back is really called an alidade - by using a straw you can make super-accurate altitude measurements
***** we also offer to craft a custom astrolabe projected from your very back garden! based on the longitude and latitude of your house or favourite stargazing location (if you do not know your latitude & longitude we can calculate it based on your address) for maximum accuracy.
The cost for us to tailor a unique and individual astrolabe for your back garden is an extra £5 for the first one only. Delivery of a custom astrolabe may take a little longer to ship out as the build can only begin when we receive your details (delivery of these bespoke astrolabes will be made no more than one month after the order is made) *****
The Astrolabe is so simple to use that children from the age of 7 upwards find them fascinating and easy to use.
Once familiar with it, an adult can soon see that it is a powerful anologue computer capable of thousands of diverse and instantaneous calculations.
It expands with your knowledge of the skies - it is ideal as an introduction to stars, constellations and the motion of the cosmos. With more experience it can be used for things like finding and plotting the positions of the planets/meteorites. A professional astronomer can use it for thousands of diverse and instantaneous calculations, and always appreciate the accuracy of a bespoke portable field instrument.
Our astrolabes differ from normal planispheres since they show the Sun's position and are much more accurate since it is made for your area and therefore displays your local sky. Our astrolabes are also conveniently made to your time zone whereas mass produced planispheres are nearly always made in UT or GMT and have to be converted to your local time. Whatever your time zone, the astrolabe will be set to it - unless you ask us otherwise
step by step instructions also include tips and large starmaps
All Astrolabes are hand-crafted from thick, weatherproof, laminated card and acetate and are approx. 20 cm in diameter.
The Modern Astrolabe
Standard astrolabes are made for UK counties and US states only