There is something exciting and soothing about staring up at the night sky and seeing the cosmos in its starry glory. But many of us who live in metropolitan areas with constant light and air pollution would count ourselves lucky if we could even see the north begin, forgetting about all the star constellations there.
But thanks to the marvels of technology, there are plenty of stargazing apps that will allow you to see and understand where the constellations are parked in the night sky. Here we have compiled a list of some of the best stargazing apps that you can use.
Google Sky (sky map)
Think of Google Sky as the stellar analogue of Google Maps. With Google Sky, you can observe space using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Digitized Sky Survey.
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You can access Google Maps through your personal computer and through your mobile phone, either on the browser or using the apps for either. Google Maps will give you a view of space unobstructed by pollution, clouds, or anything else. The app for Google Sky is now known as Sky Map after being donated and made open source by Google.
Star Tracker (iOS and Android)
Star Tracker app can show you more than 88 constellations and more than 8000 space objects as well as sun, moon and planets in real time. The Star Tracker app is available on iOS and Android and has an AR mode that shows the positions of all celestial objects. The app is free but there is an ad-free version and a full version which has more features.
Skyview (iOS and Android)
With the Skyview app, you can simply point your mobile device skyward to start identifying galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, and even the International Space Station. Available on iOS and Android with free and paid versions, the app has one more night and an AR feature, allowing you to use it anytime.
It also has a Sky Path feature that allows users to track objects in space to see their location at particular dates and times. It also has a time travel option which will let users know what the sky looked like in the past and what it will look like in the future
Sky Safari (iOS and Android)
The Skysafari astronomy app allows users to hold their phone up to the sky to identify planets, constellations, stars and satellites. Just like Skyview, Skysafari can also be used to see what the sky might have looked like in the distant past or the distant future.
Users can also simulate meteor showers, eclipses, and other celestial events like approaching comets. It has a constellation illustration feature which will illustrate the constellations if you cannot view them properly. The application also contains a lot of mythological and scientific information as well as mythological information.
NASA app (iOS and Android)
While not strictly a stargazing app in the same vein as the others on the list, no astronomer’s tech toolkit is complete without the official Stargazing app. space agency. Besides viewing the thousands of images in the NASA Photo Gallery, you can also live stream NASA events such as rocket launches and eclipses via NASA TV.
The app also contains lots of information about NASA missions, celestial bodies, upcoming sightings, and other space-related news.