Personalised star map poster
This personalised star map poster is an accurate map of the stars, planets and moon on your chosen day and location. As well as having various customisation options, you can personalise it with your own text. As shown in the gallery examples, it makes an excellent wedding gift.
What do you get?
I will create your personalised star map poster and provide it by email as a high-quality vectorised PDF. You will then own the file and can print it as many times as you like, choose your frame, or even edit the PDF. You can also scale and print to different paper sizes (so selecting the correct paper size here in the store is not critical).
I make every poster individually—I will usually have the job done in less than 24 hours, but please allow up to 3 days. If you are not satisfied, I will refund you with no quibbles. If you want more customisation, for example, different fonts or a different colour scheme, please enquire—I can probably accommodate this. Contact me using the form below.
Portrait or landscape?
You can select portrait or landscape. Both variants look beautiful, but you may have a preference since the finished look depends on your latitude (i.e. how far from the equator you are). Look through the gallery to see some examples and decide if you have a preference.
If you are unsure, you can leave the orientation as ‘Default’. If your latitude is higher or lower than 40 degrees north or south (i.e. further north than roughly Madrid, or further south than roughly Auckland) the entire visible sky can be seen with just one view and portrait is the default option. For everyone else, within 40 degrees of the equator, significant sections of both the northern and southern sky can be seen and landscape is the default option with both views shown. The 40 degree threshold is arbitrary and there is lots of room for personal preference here. As stated above, you can select both portrait and landscape regardless of your latitude.
There are many places online where you can get a PDF printed, framed and delivered for a competitive price. Here is one example in the UK: https://www.vistaprint.co.uk/signs-posters/posters.
Constellations are groups of stars that form recognisable patterns. They relate to many things such as ancient stories and beliefs, but they are still useful for finding objects and describing locations in the sky. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recognises 88 constellations in the modern list, comprising 42 animals, 29 inanimate objects and 17 humans or mythological characters. The star map optionally shows these constellation lines.
The star map optionally shows the moon’s location and illumination over the duration of the day in 2-hr intervals. The first and last moon symbols are larger to show the illumination more clearly.
The star map optionally shows the other 7 known planets of the solar system (excluding Earth) using their astronomical symbols: Mercury (☿), Venus (♀), Mars (♂), Jupiter (♃), Saturn (♄), Uranus (⛢), Neptune (♆). Note that this paragraph uses special characters to display the planets’ astronomical symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols. This will not affect the star map.
Many internet stores sells personalised star map posters of something resembling a star map with some space for personalisation. In many cases, however, they are not actually correct for your date and location. Moreover, I have never seen a star map poster that represents the sky for the whole day—I have only seen ones that show (or claim to show) the sky at just one instant in time, for example, at midnight.
This personalised star map poster uses a clever visualisation technique to show the sky for your specified location and date. It shows the whole day (instead of at just one instant in time). It is beautiful, accurate, scientific and interesting to look at. My technique is to outline the moving horizon onto the sky at several key times (sunset, midnight, sunrise). The background sky is coloured according to when objects are visible.
My software uses the Hipparcos star catalog, and the VSOP87 and ELPMPP02 astronomical algorithms, respectively, to accurately calculate the apparent positions of the stars, planets and the earth’s moon, respectively. Precession, nutation, annual aberration, proper motion and the light-time effect are taken into account as appropriate. Most of these latter corrections are unnecessarily accurate for this poster, but my software uses the same backend I developed to drive my telescope mount (and the extra accuracy obviously doesn’t hurt).
Portrait, Landscape, Default (based on latitude)
A4, A3, A2, ANSI A, ANSI B, ANSI C
Blues, Greys, Colourful