Star Chart

Download this month's star chart.

Planisphere

Download a planisphere that can be used all year.

Sundial

Download a sundial that can be used in Michigan.
Purchasing A Telescope

Buying your first telescope can be very intimidating. Here are some simple pointers that can make the whole experience enjoyable and rewarding.

  • Avoid buying a telescope from a discount store, shoppers club, or a TV shopping network. Those telescopes tend to be lower quality instruments.
  • Buy a major brand name scope from a real telescope dealer with astronomers on staff who will be able to help you after the sale.
  • Ask your local astronomy club members for the name of the dealer nearest you or for the name of a reputable astronomical products mail-order house with which they have had good experiences.
  • Remember, a telescope that is cared for properly will last for decades, so it would be wise to buy the best you can afford.
  • Quality telescopes can be rather expensive items. Even a small telescope, like a 60mm refracting telescope with a 1.25" eyepiece, can cost several hundred dollars.
  • Bigger lenses or mirrors gather more light, the more light you can gather the more objects you will be able to see.
  • If at all possible, join an astronomy club and look through lots of telescopes before you buy one. One of the local astronomy clubs is the Warren Astronomical Society. They meet at Cranbrook Institute of Science every first Monday of the month at 7:30pm.