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I have purchased a custom wedding band from a seller that claims the ring will show the constellations visible at the horizon on a specific date at a certain date and time.

However, I have fired up Stellarium and set it up to look at a specific example shown in the product page - and I cannot find any set of parameters which looks like it: Jupiter's not in the right place, some constellations are under the horizon (Virgo, Libra, Leo), some others very high in the sky (Andromeda, Perseus)... Although it's the first time I use Stellarium, I don't see how I could make a mistake:

  • Location set to London Bridge (even the preset London to be sure)
  • Date and time set just like in the example (double-checked 5 times)
  • Cylindrical projection (tried all of them though), offset -30%
  • FoV 210° (to have the 360° mapped to the entire screen - I have
    absolutely no idea why 180° does not work)
  • Elevation lines horizontal (although I tried moving around to align everything like in the pictures for every projection method - in vain)

Here is the example: enter image description here

Am I missing something, or is their sky map wrong? If yes, is it possible that two pieces of well-polished software like Stellarium and this one (looks just as good as Stellarium) have different star locations? How come (isn't there a standard star almanach?)?

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If you set the date to 2018-04-06, Stellarium shows the Moon and planets in positions matching the example image. Any good planetarium software should produce a similar result.

Stellarium image

Most likely the vendor cut and pasted two screenshots (note the seam) for April 2018, overlaid "January 1973," and hoped customers would not check. Perhaps you could ask them to send you an image for approval before printing the ring.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm just being curious, but how on Earth did you manage to figure out the exact date? Did you use some plate solver software, or did you just happen to remember the positions of the Moon and the planets in April last year? Or something else? $\endgroup$ – Ilmari Karonen Aug 5 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ @IlmariKaronen Stepped by years for Saturn and Jupiter, months for Mars, and days for the Moon. $\endgroup$ – Mike G Aug 5 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ I have no idea how you found the actual date of the star landscape (witchcraft?), but this is the perfect answer I was looking for. The jeweller has confirmed the date and location was made up for the sake of the example, so I have placed my order and she has provided me with a correct landscape. Many thanks! $\endgroup$ – Mister Mystère Aug 6 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ I have no idea how you found the actual date of the star landscape (witchcraft?), but this is the perfect answer I was looking for (Edit: thanks for the explanation!). The jeweller has confirmed the date and location was made up for the sake of the example, so I have placed my order and she has provided me with a correct landscape. Many thanks! $\endgroup$ – Mister Mystère Aug 6 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @MisterMystère A good user interface accelerates trial and error powerfully! $\endgroup$ – Mike G Aug 6 at 15:11
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Stellarium is known to be accurate. Star and planet positions in 1973 are very well known, and correctly shown in Stellarium.

At that time and place, Cetus and Taurus are rising in the East and North East, where Saturn is just about to rise. Lynx is on the horizon in the North. The Horizon. Bootes is about to set in the West. The sun in low on the horizon in Saggitarius in the SW. Microscopum and Sculptor are in the S and SE respectively. Jupiter is very close to the sun in Saggitarus. The moon is close to new, also in Saggitarus. Venus is also nearby in Ophiuchus. Of course the sun is up and so the stars would not have been visible at this time.

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