Index Card Finder Charts

The 2000 printing of AstroCards were computer generated charts that replaced the original 1975 hand drawn versions. Three sets cover the Northern Hemisphere to -40 degrees declination with a few special cards covering northern Centaurus. These fi nder charts have a uniform chart scale with each 3x5-inch data card showing the location of numerous deep-sky objects with 12 x 9 degree star fi elds, more than
twice the area of the older charts. The chart scale is nearly the same as that of Sky Atlas 2000 so those who are accustomed to using this atlas will feel comfortable with the AstroCards. The cards are printed
on heavy 70 lb. cardstock with a glossy face to withstand dewy nights.
Each card has two star charts:

The left chart shows a broad sky area as it appears to the naked eye; the right chart is a detailed map that matches the view seen through a typical 8x50 viewfi nder. To aid in locating the area, a “guide star”
is indicated by an arrow on both charts. Aiming the viewfi nder at the “guide star” places your telescope in the field of the finder chart making star hopping easy. After you reposition the viewfinder’s crosshairs
from the guide star to the area of one of the various objects plotted on the chart, the object will be visible in the eyepiece.


Each set helps you locate hundreds of interesting objects any time of the year. AstroCards are perfect for portable telescopes because there is no need for accurate polar alignment, or the use of setting circles. The cards are helpful even if you use computerized digital setting circles because of the DSC’s limited accuracy in identifying objects in an area congested with numerous deep-sky objects such as in a galaxy cluster. AstroCards also show objects that may not be included in some DSC databases, and they have no encoders to slip or stop working. Star hopping with AstroCards is still the most reliable method of locating deep-sky objects. Take them along to star parties or fi eld trips. The cards may be used with or without our Card Lighter.


Set A - The Messier Objects Plus
Charles Messier (1730-1817) was a French astronomer whose main interest was discovering new comets (he had over 20 to his credit). His famous catalog is a list of diffuse objects not to be confused as comets. He recorded the positions of these objects so that he would not be fooled by the same object a second time. Today the beginner has access to optics far superior to what Messier used, therefore his catalog contains the brightest and finest objects in the sky. This set is especially recommended for the novice or small scope users, but advanced amateurs will certainly enjoy using them too. Set A also plots hundreds of other objects lying in the same star fields as the Messier Objects.


Set B - Finest Deep-Sky
Sets B and C introduce the telescope user to the best objects beyond the Messier Catalog, such as The Ghost of Jupiter, The Blinking Planetary Nebula, and NGCs 869 and 884 known as the Double Cluster in Perseus. Sets B and C have something for all size instruments, a 3-inch refractor under clear dark skies will show nearly all of the featured objects while medium and large scopes may be needed for some of the fainter objects also plotted on the charts. This set includes charts for The Veil Nebula, Stephen's Quintet, Copeland's Septet and the Centaurus Galaxy Cluster. Larger instruments with an Oxygen-III filter may be needed see the Helix or the Cocoon Nebulae. Galaxies as faint as magnitude 13.5 are plotted.


Set C - Finest Deep-Sky (Part 2)
This set presents more celestial gems for observation by the deep-sky enthusiast. As in Set B, this set includes objects for all sizes of telescopes. Included are charts for many objects suitable for small telescopes such as Cr399 the Coat Hanger, Kemble's Cascade, and NGC7662 the Blue Snowball. Medium size scopes will see the fine edge-on galaxy NGC4565, the Ringtail Galaxy NGC 4038-39, and the Little Gem planetary Nebula NGC6818. Larger telescopes are needed for the Rosette Nebula, The Pegasus I Galaxy Cluster, The Cone Nebula, and Hubble's Variable Nebula. Also included are charts for the
North America Nebula, the Pelican Nebula and the Witch Head Nebula.

All 213 Charts $30.00

AstroCards are easy to use:

Step 1: Using the naked eye map, aim the viewfinder's crosshairs at the "guide star."

Step 2: Using the right chart, star hop from the "guide star" to the area where the object is indicated on the map. The object will be visible in the eyepiece.

Astro Card Image: 19h-Cyg

AstroCards show the following information:

·         A - File Guide

·         B - NGC Number

·         C - Messier or Herschel Number

·         D - Right Ascension Epoch 2000

·         E - Declination Epoch 2000

·         F - Diameter in (') minutes or (") seconds of arc

·         G - Magnitude (v) visual or (p) photographic

·         H - Type or class of object

·         J - Chart Scale (With one degree tick marks)

·         K - "Guide Star" is indicated by an arrow in both the left naked eye map and the detailed finder chart at right.



Card Lighter

Handcrafted out of hardwood, the Card Lighter makes using AstroCards even more convenient with adjustable red LEDs. The Card Lighter backlights the AstroCards allowing the observer to adjust the light intensity to the level of the eye's dark adaptation (Card Lighter is powered by a 9 volt battery). With a star chart inserted in the Card Lighter, you have everything needed for starhopping in one hand, freeing the other hand for other tasks such as writing, focusing, or in the case of larger scopes, simply holding onto a ladder. The Card Lighter also allows one to read larger star maps by removing the chart from the holder and holding the empty unit over the map, thus taking advantage of the Card Lighter's intensity adjustment that other lights don't offer.

Cardligher - $35.95. Complete with 213 charts - $63.95

Actual size 6.5 x 6.5 inches


Card Lighter








Card Lighter & 213 Charts AstroCards







Shipping will be billed at the current postal rates. Outside USA: E-mail us for shipping charges.

Deep-Sky Notes


3x5 inch printed on heavy card stock. Blank observing forms for recording or drawing your observations. Fits standard card file boxes.

Pack of 200 #DSN-200 $10.95
Pack of 400 #DSN-400 $19.95
Pack of 600 #DSN-600 $28.95

Price List Summary & How To Order
Phone: (520) 366-0490