with Neotropical Migratory Birds

Finding Their Way--The Stars as a Compass

Sky Map/Star Clock
Patterns & Instructions

Pattern A

Pattern B

IMPORTANT: The reproducible patterns are identical in size when you print them off the Internet. You will need to make adjustments on your photocopier to reduce the size of the black circle. The black circle must fit on top of the white circle to cover everything but the names of the months, which should show around the perimeter of the Sky Map Star Clock.

B. After you have successfully determined the necessary reduction for the black circle, photocopy and cut out the two circle patterns. Remember to cut out the small white viewing window in the black circle too.

C. Assemble your Sky Map Star Clock by centering the black circle on top of the white circle. The names of the months should appear evenly around the perimeter. Insert a brass paper fasterner through the North Star on the (smaller) black circle to make a rotating wheel.

D. Move the top wheel so the window shows 9 PM, then 10 PM, and all the hours throughout the night. Watch to see what happens to the position of the North Star as the night hours pass. What happens to all the other constellations?

Tell time with your Sky Map Star Clock! Go outdoors on a clear night. Find the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Cassiopeia. Face north. The pointer stars in the Big Dipper and Little Dipper will help you find the North Star. Hold the Sky Map Star Clock so the current month is at the top as you face north. Then rotate the wheel with the stars until the constellations line up the same way as the stars in the sky. Read the time that shows in the window!