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How to help!

1. Look for an observing site under clear and moonless skies.
 
2. Compare the stars that you can see with the naked eye, (without binoculars or a telescope, but using your glasses) either in the Little Dipper or in the constellation of Orion to the respective small reference images below.

Present lunar phase updated 4 hourly

Then kindly report the image number (1 to 7) of the constellation-image that corresponds most closely to what you actually see together with date, clock-time (ie local legal time) and the observing location by using the observation form.
 
OBSERVING HINTS!

 
THE LITTLE DIPPER:FINDING-CHART - PRINT OUT AND PARTICIPATE!
Finding-chart colour andBW-negative-Version
 

FINDING-CHART

Donation etc
Bild 1 Bild 2 Bild 3
Bild 4 Bild 5 Bild 6
Bild 7
These images show the constallation for different degrees of artificial sky brightness. Click to enlarge.


Orion FINDING-CHART - PRINT AND OBSERVE!

 

 
FINDING-CHART Orion without instructions
 
FINDING-CHART Orion colour, no instructions.

 
HINTS AND INFORMATION
Avoid places with close direct illumination, e.g. by streetlights. If you want to illuminate the instructions use a red flashlight, or cover the flashlight with your hand so that it dimmly shines through it. Before observing you should give your eyes time to adapt to the dark. We encourage you to repeat your observation at different days and different times even at the same spot.
 


VISIBILITY

On the northern hemisphere the LITTLE DIPPER is visible throughout the entire year and the entire night. South of about 30 degree north (Arizona, Spain, Turkey) it will approach the horizon. For people living in the southern hemisphere it is invisible. The Little Dipper can be easily located using the finding charts, but take into account that due to the Earth's rotation the appearance of the sky changes continuously. The orientation of the constellations is therefore not always as shown on the images above. Depending on the actual season and time you will notice a somewhat different appearance of the sky. The Figure on the right tries to show that (click to enlarge). With the help of the Big Dipper it is possible to locate the polar star and hence the Little Dipper.

The constellation of ORION is visible both from the NORTHERN and the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. The best time for observing Orion is from early November to mid March. The precise rising and setting-times depend on the specific observing spot. The appearence of Orion also depends on the location. In the south its upside down (when compared to its northern appearance).

STAR-CHART FOR BETTER ORIENTATION

On the Sky and Telescope web-site you can find an excellent interactive sky-chart (Java Applet), that displays a sky-chart after selecting location, date and time. It can also be used to determine rising and setting times of the constellations.

→ Interactive star-chart by Sky and Telescope 
email: Verein@Kuffner-Sternwarte.at