Index Card Finder Charts
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AstroCards show the following information:
A - File Guide
B - NGC Number
C - Messier or
D - Right Ascension
E - Declination
F - Diameter in
(') minutes or (") seconds of arc
G - Magnitude (v)
visual or (p) photographic
H - Type or class
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.
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.
- $35.95. Complete with 213 charts - $63.95
Actual size 6.5 x 6.5 inches
Lighter & 213 Charts AstroCards
Shipping will be billed at the current postal rates. Outside
USA: E-mail us for shipping charges.
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