Uncle Al Starwheel Free Planisphere from UC Berkeley Hall of Science

Above, following the links I provide in this post, is an Uncle Al's Star Wheel, or free planisphere. It helps you to learn the constellations and find out more about the night sky. A great activity or two is to make one, or several, and go in the backyard and see with yourself and perhaps your family or friends, how many constellations you can make out. You may need to move around little in your yard, if you have one.

You could also do the same activity, but highlight the constellations you can see, or put a dot next to their name, and then make another one, and go into the country or remote area and highlight or better, put that dot next to the constellations you can see from there. Then compare the planispheres!

Many, MANY great recommendations that are all viable and great! Here is a free one online. Warning, the LINK will take you directly to the PDF which is of Uncle Al's Star Wheel. The wheel will not automatically download, but it only shows one wheel, with one option.  It is a planisphere that is free, you download and print out and put together, like the one in the picture above.  I have it saved, printed, and I copied it unto mild card stock and laminated it to give out.  The first link is to the northern hemisphere. Want to check it out? It is from the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and this second LINK takes you to where you have the option to download the northern hemisphere, or the southern hemisphere. You can choose in the northern hemisphere, English, Japanese or Icelandic (not sure why) and a wheel for Alaska. The southern hemisphere has English, Spanish and Portuguese available.  The southern hemisphere also has a pulsar locator according to the constellation on a star wheel. LOTS of info here for free and pretty basic.

I recommend you print for the northern latitude the wheel with and without lines and decide which one is easier to use. Some find the one without lines easier to use at first. This YouTube Video LINK gives a good visual presentation on how to use this or any planisphere.

There you go. A great way to get started in astronomy, to get others interested in astronomy or to just have a free planisphere if that is what you want! Enjoy!