monthly skyguide, free star charts, constellation star charts, sky guide

The Monthly Skyguide
Free Star Charts and Astronomy Resources

The night sky is a magical panorama that forces us to ask the deepest questions:

    • Van Gogh's Starry Night - one way of looking at the starsWhere is my star sign?
    • Who named the constellations?
    • How is a moon different from a planet ?
    • What is a red giant and a white dwarf?
    • What telescope should I buy?
    • Will Earth be hit by a body from space?
    • What is a nebula, and how do I see one?
    • How big is the Universe?
    • Where did we all come from?

Whether you are eager to find the constellations and stars for the first time, a novice observer who is thinking of buying a telescope and doesn't know what to look for, or even an avid astrologer who has never quite found their star sign, then you have come to the right place! Within this skyguide website we have:

    • Interactive star charts showing constellations visible each month
    • Free star charts outlining stars and deepsky objects visible to the naked eye, binoculars or small telescopes
    • Basic information describing co-ordinate systems, magnitudes and recording techniques
    • Free templates for observing stars and planets
    • Free practical astronomy guides
    • Details of skyguide courses in the Bristol area
    • Links to observational astronomy websites

This website has evolved to enhance a series of very popular Skyguide courses given at the University of Bristol Public Programmes Office until 2009 when they were discontinued by the University as part of a general running down of public engagement. If anyone can give the Skyguide a new home, please contact Steve.

The aim of these courses is to give absolute beginners a good working knowledge of the night sky, enabling students to identify the principal constellations, stars, planets and deepsky objects visible throughout the year from the British Isles. These courses are the only ones of their kind in the country to make use of a portable planetarium, as well as the PPARC lunar sample loans scheme.

This website offers access to free star charts, templates and astronomy information for those who miss a night or lose the course handouts. I also hope that if you have never been on a course you will find it useful and return often to check for updates. Originally this was to be a 12 page website, but has grown considerably since then to more than 80 pages. My apologies for having a few non-interactive star charts and quite a few pages under construction, but these will dwindle as time goes on.

page last updated 2011-01-04 © S.R.Parkinson 2011