Directions and Distances
How much of a star chart appears in your eyepiece? You’ll be lost until you know. Handy aids like these tell at a glance. The large wire ring shows the 5° field of a typical finderscope. The small ring shows the 1° field of an average 50x eyepiece’s view. Note the tiny size of the telescopic field, even on a large-scale chart like Sky Atlas 2000.0. Examining the sky at 50 power is like examining the chart with a microscope!
Copyright 2012 Sky Publishing
Suppose, for instance, you've learned Gemini as it's drawn on the monthly Sky & Telescope charts, where the stars are connected to form two stick figures holding hands. The same stars of Gemini appear on Chart 5 ofSky Atlas 2000.0 — but at a much larger scale and almost lost in a wealth of detail, as shown above. To keep the familiar naked-eye patterns in perspective, some people draw in the constellation stick figures with a pencil, as we've done here.