Greaterskies Frequently Asked Questions

Covid-19 [Update on] Due to high volumes some shipments may be slightly delayed. Deliveries to the door or by email as usual.

Giving in the times of Covid-19

Showing your loved ones that you care is even more important in times of hardship. We are honored that many of you are choosing our star maps.

Our work

We are still working. Those of us who can are working from home, and the printing labs are taking extraordinary precautions to ensure our safety and yours. We have added a day to our dispatch time to give us the peace of mind we need to be extra careful.


According to the WHO, “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” You can find the latest information on Covid-19 on the information pages of the World Health Organization.

Supporting those in need

Looking after each other will pull us through, and we don’t want the economy to prevent anyone from sharing their love. So we are introducing our new policy:

If you cannot afford your map just let us know. We’ll give you a downloadable map for free.

Be safe, and keep kindness in your hearts!

The Greaterskies Team

Shipping and delivery

How quickly will I receive my order?

Downloadable files become available almost immediately, just a few minutes after you complete your order. This is the time it takes for our systems to compute your star map and generate your personalised poster.

Printed maps:

Our maps of the stars and constellations

Do GreaterSkies star maps show the constellations from above, as if you were looking down from space, or as they would appear if you looked up to the sky?

Our sky maps show the sky as you would see it looking up at the celestial vault, with a twist: you are facing north, so the west (W) appears on your right and the east (E) on your left. This is the way astronomy charts are made. Conversely, land maps show west on the left side and east on the right.

Why are east and west reversed in my map?

Land maps and sky maps are different. East (E) and west (W) seem reversed on a sky map compared to a land map (at which we look down), because the sky map shows what we see looking up to the sky.

Imagine you are lying on the ground on a starry night and you are looking vertically up to the sky, with your feet pointing to the south and head to the north. West is at your right and side and east at your left hand side. This is exactly how it is displayed on GreaterSkies sky maps, as well as on all true astronomy charts.

How do you do decide where to cut off the sky at the edges or how much of the sky is shown on a map?

We cut our sky maps at the horizon line. The map shows all the stars visible above that the place you have chosen at that moment you have chosen, so a complete half sphere. The map does not display the other half sphere (hidden in real life), i.e. the view from the exact antipode.

In real life, we rarely see the whole celestial vault above our heads, because mountains, buildings, trees and other objects which constitute the skyline obstruct the view near the horizon line. Our maps display the view you would have if you were on a boat in the middle of the ocean, with the horizon line visible all around you.

What does the grid that starts at Polaris mean and is it essential to reading the sky?

The grid that starts near Polaris, better known as the North Star, shows the celestial coordinates, right ascension and declination. They are not essential to the map, but they help build the impression of the three dimensional half-sphere that it represents. Here is a nice explanation of what it means exactly.

What is the orange dot? Why does it appear on some maps and not on others?

The orange dot represents our star, the Sun, in sky maps published prior to March 2018. It is only visible if you chose a time between sunrise and sunset, when the Sun is actually visible in the sky. If you chose a night time, the Sun is absent from your map, and you might see a nice picture of the Moon, represented in its actual phase. On maps published after March 2018, the image of the Sun is more stylised.

Is the sky on your maps exactly as it would be if I were standing outside looking upwards from the location?

The grid coordinates are the celestial coordinates (like latitude and longitude but in the sky), and the whole thing (coordinates and stars) is shown as if you were standing outside looking upwards from that given location.

Other questions about our personalised star maps

Can my personal message include any letters or symbols?

Currently we can only accept Latin letters and the following exceptions: ñ, ç, á...ú, à...ù, ü. We cannot include any special symbols at this point, nor can we write in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian...

What sky map poster sizes do you offer?

GreaterSkies posters come in different sizes. These are not just scaled down versions of the larger size, we redesign each of them to make sure they will look best in each size.

If you order a Printed sky map poster, you will have a choice of sizes based on your shipping address:.

  • 11x14", 16x20", 18x24" if your shipping address is in the US or Canada.
  • 40x50 cm or 50x70 cm if your shipping address is in the UK and Europe.

You can also choose to receive your sky map print framed or unframed.

If you order Printable sky map downloads, once you have confirmed your order you will get to the download page where you can select the size(s) you want to download. We offer 10 available sizes in both metric and imperial/standard dimensions:

  • 5 Imperial sizes: 5x7", 8.5x11" (letter), 11x14", 16x20", 18x24" and 24x36".
  • 5 Metric sizes: 21x29.7 cm (A4), 24x30 cm, 30x40 cm, 40x50 cm and 50x70 cm.

Our files sizes fit most standard frames, so it will be easy for you to find a frame you like. Still, if you have a particular frame in mind, we suggest checking the frame size before selecting the download file size.

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Instant downloads

The Download option will give you access to files optimized for printing at these sizes: 8.5x11" (letter), optimum for your home printer; 11x14", ideal for a medium-sized poster; 16x20", optimized for a medium-sized poster; 18x24", ideal for a large poster; 40x50 cm; 50x70 cm.

The Classic and Night Sky designs also include: 21x29.7 cm (A4); 24x30 cm; 30x40 cm; 24x36", ideal for an extra-large poster

These are the same high-resolution JPEG files that we use for our printing: with them, a professional print-shop will be able to produce an outstanding quality print.

Download six image files for each available color. Each image file is optimized for a different print size, from 21.6x27.9cm to 50x70cm. Download six image files for each available color. Each image file is optimized for a different print size, from 8.5x11" to 18x24".

Learn more about our downloads


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High-resolution printable files