How would you use a star chart like a map?

If you are looking to read a star chart for star gazing, you can use a number of tips for locating the constellations and stars that we can see with the naked eye. It's likely that you could see over 6000 stars on any clear night and this can make the process of reading a star chart quite difficult.

Starting with the brightest points: The brightest stars that you can see can often be some of the best points of reference for reading your star chart. Choose some of the largest celestial bodies that are labeled on the chart and then work at locating them based off of other large celestial bodies. Choosing to locate some of the extremely faint stars in the area can make the process of reading a star chart very difficult.

Lining up constellations: constellations are very powerful tool that you can use for reading Star charts. In the past, ancient civilizations created a variety of constellations that formed the shape of astrological signs. These are items like the crab, the spoon for the little dipper and others. Connecting up some of the brightest stars to form constellations will help to make sure that you are never lost. Forming lines between the brightest stars can help you quickly locate other stars by lining them up appropriately.

When in doubt use tools: using a bit jocular or a telescope of any kind can instantly enhance your abilities to read a star map. If you have access to even a cheap pair of binoculars you can work at seeing some of the fainter stars that you wouldn't typically see with the naked eye. This can help you for more connections on your map and locate more of the map in your portion of the night sky.

Keep some of these ideas in mind for interpreting your star chart and matching the way the night sky would have looked in your custom charting.