“Stargazing” apps combine different sensors in your smart phone with data from the Internet to give an amazing view of the night sky. Most smart phones have all of these capabilities:
- Internal clock and cellular signals provide information about date and time.
- Global Positioning System (GPS) pinpoints your location on the Earth and altitude.
- Air pressure sensors help estimate altitude.
- A magnetometer provides compass direction.
- Accelerometers provide the orientation of the smart phone.
- Cameras provide images for analysis.
Let’s look at some of the apps that are available!
Night Sky (iPhone)
You can download the Night Sky app for iPhone here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/night-sky/id475772902
Google Sky Map (Android)
An open-source app originally created by Google and now maintained by a team of volunteers this app is available on Android and most other platforms. Follow this link to download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.stardroid
Here’s a video to get you started!
Sky View Lite (iPhone/Android)
One of the most popular “stargazing” apps for Android and iPhone, Sky View Lite has an exciting range of features including Night Mode, Augmented Reality, Sky Track and Time Travel. Follow this link to download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.t11.skyviewfree
And watch this video to learn about some of the features.
- Did you try a “stargazing” app?
- What did you see or learn?
- Were you surprised by anything that you observed?
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