Maps & Atlases
Finding your way around the night sky can be easier than you think. With the right star chart, sky atlas, or planisphere, you can learn your way around in the universe using a star map. There's no substitute for learning to navigate the night sky with these tools. A sky atlas never needs batteries or power supplies, and it works with any telescope or binoculars any time, anywhere!
If you are totally new to the hobby of astronomy, one of the greatest learning tools you can acquire is a simple planisphere. A simple tool, you just turn the wheel to the date and time and the major stars in the constellations will appear oriented in the "window". Hold it over your head and simply match the stars. Once you've mastered a planisphere, you're ready to move on to bigger things.
Star charts and atlases are more technical than a planisphere, a star map or finder chart lists primary stars in a constellation - including those just visible to the unaided eye. These "road maps" will allow you to aim your optics at certain areas of the sky to detect many wonderful things such as Messier Objects, bright NGCs, and more. When you're ready to advance, the next step is a Night Sky Atlas. Just like a road atlas, a night sky atlas is a digest of many different maps that contain more detailed information. Complete volumes contain coordinates that will allow you to use both manual or digital setting circles included on equatorially mounted telescopes.