Useful Astronomical Links

Frequently Asked Questions

star3.gif (1954 bytes)How long does The Constellations star map glow?

        The map glows for approximately two hours after being exposed to light.  Regular incandescent light or fluorescent light seems to work best.  You'll find that the more dark-adapted your eyes are, the better the map will glow.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)How does the map glow?

        The map glows due to the property known as phosphorescence.  After the ink representing the stars and Milky Way absorbs visible light, it slowly re-emits the light over the next few hours.  The map is not radioactive, and it's completely safe to use.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)What does The Constellations star map portray?

        The map shows the "big picture", representing the major stars and constellations visible year-round from the northern hemisphere.  This is significantly more than can ever be seen at one time in the sky and highlights the relationship of each constellation with all the others.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)Will lamination effect the glow-in-the-dark qualities of the map?

        Laminating the map will not effect its glow-in-the-dark properties.  Indeed, it will help preserve the map for many years to come.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)What is the Zodiac?

       It is a band of constellations surrounding the earth in a great circle that backdrops the sun, moon, and planets as they move through the sky.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)Does my birth “sign” (such as is shown in the daily newspaper) indicate the constellation that was behind the sun when I was born?

       No. 2000 years ago it would have indicated this, but the signs have shifted away from the Zodiac since then. So, if you’re a “Capricorn”, the constellation behind the sun when you were born was actually Sagittarius. This is due to what’s called the precession of the equinoxes.

star3.gif (1954 bytes)What is the precession of the equinoxes?

       It is a result of a slow wobble of the earth's axis. Due to this wobble, the position of the sun at the time of the Spring Equinox moves steadily backward amidst the Zodiacal constellations and the position of Aries (the sign associated with spring in the northern hemisphere) slowly changes.

The Constellations Ordering Information
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