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Sky & Telescope's Celestial Globe

Format: Globe

SKU# R3393

This 12-inch freestanding globe allows you to explore the stars above as never before. It combines Sky & Telescope’s exclusive constellation patterns with an “inside-out” perspective that closely matches what you see in the sky. More than 2,900 stars are plotted to magnitude 5.5, with double and variable stars indicated. Labels identify nearly 300 common star names and more than 550 Bayer (Greek-letter) star designations. Also included are 109 Messier and 109 Caldwell deep-sky objects. All this is portrayed against a celestial-coordinate grid, all 88 constellations and their boundaries, and an ecliptic line annotated with both degrees and the Sun’s location throughout the year. (Note: the globe is not internally illuminated.)

Product specifications:

  • Constructed of dense, durable yet lightweight material
  • Comes with 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diameter clear plastic stand and information sheet
  • Scale: 1° = 0.1 inch (2.7 mm)
  • Dimensions: 12-inch (30-cm) diameter
  • Weight: 3.7 lb (1.7 kg)

Although most S&T globes use imaging data gather by spacecraft, our celestial globe is an entirely homegrown effort. The algorithm for sizing the "dots" to show its 2,934 stars, the “stick figures” used to connect each constellation’s brightest stars, and the programming to projection everything onto a sphere are all done by S&T’s editors and especially by Senior Contributing Editor Roger Sinnott.  The S&T staff knew the project would require far more effort than any previous globe project, yet the more we looked around, the more we realized that no one offered the detailed yet affordable star globe that we envisioned. And so, with a green light from management, we set to work. 

Did You Know?
Sky & Telescope’s Celestial Globe includes proper (common) names for 194 stars, including 10 that were adopted in 2015 by the International Astronomical Union for stars with known planetary systems. These new monikers reflect more modern themes, such as Cervantes from Don Quixote.


SKU R3393
Format Globe
ISBN 13 9781940038551

In Stock

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Customer Reviews

2 Item(s)

per page
Nicely done! Review by Aleko

As a lover of star globes, I am sometimes disappointed by what I find, but I am pleasantly surprised by this one. It is elegant in its simplicity. Given that these things are usually as much a room decoration as a star map, it could fit in nicely in any style location, traditional or modern. Even the cheap plastic stand actually looks very nice and doesn't "look" cheap at all. And thankfully, the primary color is a deep navy blue, not the light blue or turquoise (think earth globes) that some star globes use.

Bravo to Sky and Tel for dispensing with the "inside out" perspective that so many star globes have used in the past. When looking at the globe, the constellations appear as seen in the sky, not reversed. I also like that the constellations are drawn as modern stick figures, and not the sometimes overdrawn "artwork" as seen on so many other star globes. Another great feature is that the globe is not fixed to the stand, so that I can pick it up and hold it in my hands for a closer look, turning it in any orientation.

The globe has plenty of star names and deep sky objects, but the fonts are small and clean enough so that the look is not cluttered at all, and things are easy to read. The Milky Way is somewhat understated, but it's there when you're looking for it; nicer understated than overdone. One could rightly quibble with the selection of deep sky objects, which includes the Messier and (groan) Caldwell objects. It might have been preferable to choose objects based mainly on their visibility in binoculars and small telescopes. Still, many star globes don't have deep sky objects at all!

My favorite globe has been the Rand McNally from around 1980. This globe, though different in many ways, is just as nice; decorative, informative, a pleasure to look at and use. All in all, nicely done, S&T!

(Posted on 11/7/2016)

Sky & Telescope's Celestial Globe Reviewed Review by Larry

I was not especially looking for a celestial globe so I ordered this globe on a whim really. To be honest I was hesitant due to the price tag at first but the more I looked at ST's unique interpretation of the sphere the more I had to have it. It is incredibly well organized for what I was most interested in seeing on a celestial globe. It has a wealth of quick observational information without seeming overly cluttered.
I have the usual wealth of observing tools available in PC and smart phone software, pocket atlas, monthly sky charts, etc, but the ease of simply having a quick tangible 3D object to review without the need to navigate software and printouts to get a bearing on what's in the sky, or on it's way up, makes this my favorite tool for a first glance for visual (and imaging) information.
This is also a very valuable educational tool since I am more of a goto guy. I have challenged myself to actually learn the constellations to be able to navigate without other aids since I am blessed to be in a remote region of West Texas where the skies are incredible year round. And you never know where you may be without Cellular or WiFi coverage so knowing your way around is worth the time invested.
I have the globe positioned in a location where visitors to the region see it displayed and have literally had 90% of the visitors comment about it. So I see a lot of potential for clubs, schools, and outreach programs to utilize it for educational purposes as well.
So the bottom line, for the factors mentioned above, this was a good purchase decision for my use and for sharing the night sky with others.
The Pros are pretty much in my review and I am very happy with the light weight and construction as well.
The only Cons could be that it is not internally illuminated. But really for the difficulty and expense that would be involved for a feature like that would make it too cumbersome to deal with the weight, electrical/batteries for my taste. And the plastic stand is just so-so but there are tons of aftermarket alternatives to spruce it up if one desired.

(Posted on 5/4/2016)

2 Item(s)

per page