Are there printable 2D star maps that are distorted such that, when printed, they can be cut (along printed lines) to be applied to the outside of a sphere to represent the celestial sphere, as seen from the center of the substrate sphere?

Is there a term for this type of map?

If they don't exist, how can one be created?

  • $\begingroup$ What you're looking for is called a star chart to make a celestial sphere. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ Related: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/15639/… $\endgroup$
    – Mike G
    Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ Would two polar projections, one for each pole, suffice? It doesn't violate the Riemann Mapping Theorem since there's an irremovable discontinuity at the equator. $\endgroup$
    – user21
    Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ There's no way I know of to paste paper nicely on to a proper sphere, but there will be cut-outs you can tape together that look close to a sphere. I remember my old globe was indeed pieces of what looked like paper pasted to a glass sphere, but I have a hunch that was a fairly specialized paper and process developed for globe manufacture. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globe#Manufacture $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ I've found out that vertical segments that one would cut out to try to paste to a sphere are called gores and this is indeed how old globes were made. I know that the Python package Skyfield can generate locations of stars and the math to make a printable image superimposed on the gores is not hard. Is this a way you might want to proceed? Or are you looking for something you can just download and print? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 11:32


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