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Kepler Star Wheel
photo of Kepler starwheel, assembled

UPDATED 2012 August 3

2013 Kepler Star Wheel (PDF, 1.11 MB):

  • Shows where in the sky Kepler is pointing.
  • Has sky positions of 17 naked-eye stars (brighter than magnitude 5) with exoplanets discovered as of August 2012 from [Green circles denote stars with exoplanets.]
  • Goes with Uncle Al's Hands-On Universe Star Wheels
  • Includes master for photocopy and assembly instructions
  • Two wheels included:
    • one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars
    • one without grid for cleaner simpler look - easier to read
  • Has two holders: one for latitudes 30°-50° and one for latitudes 50°-70°

Watch the activity guide video for the Kepler Starwheel in mpeg or Quicktime format, created in May of 2015 in conjunction with International Year of Light—Cosmic Light Kit.

Suggestions for classroom use: To set a context for using star maps, you can have students read Hands-On Universe book, A Changing Cosmos, chapter 2 (Astronomer's Tools). The Using Starmaps (PDF, 644 KB) activity is Investigation 2-1 in that chapter and has nice set of questions to ask students when using starwheels.

The 2010 version Kepler Star Wheel has over 60 stars with exoplanets marked (down to magnitude 6), but is considerably harder to use than the current version above.

If you reproduce Kepler Star Wheels credit should be given as follows: "Kepler Star Wheels reproduced with permission from NASA Kepler Mission and University of California, Lawrence Hall of Science. Latest version may be obtained at"

people looking at the night sky