The Universe is vast but you can hold it all in the palm of your hands. These five astronomy apps are only a sample of what is available for your OS and Android devices. Have fun while you learn about stars, constellations, planets and moons all from the comfort of your backyard or favourite camping site.
Pocket Universe by John Kennedy
Mac OS, $2.99. Pocket Universe is an easy-to-use app that will help you learn the names of constellations, bright stars, planets and more. Just hold up your OS device in front of you, and the app will use the built-in compass to display the same view of the sky you see, complete with names and information. You can also explore the Solar System and take virtual walks on the Moon and Mars.
SkyORB by Realtech VR
Mac OS, Lite Free, Premium $2.99. SkyORB features many functions as a 3D real-time representation of the planets position around the sun, the ability to hold your device and point toward a visible star and planet and reveal the name by tracking the GPS position, compass orientation, the elevation from the gyroscope. It will also warn the user when a phenomenon occurs, such as a full moon, or a planet really visible, which is worth the observation.
Star Walk by Vito Technology Inc.
Mac OS, $2.99 An interactive astro guide to the night sky, following your every movement in real-time and allowing you to explore over 200,000 celestial bodies with extensive information about stars and constellations that you find.
SkEye Astronomy by Harshad RJ
Android, Free. SkEye is an advanced Planetarium that can also be used as a PUSHTO guide for telescopes. Ever been on a camping trip and wondered what objects are up in the sky? Now you can get familiar with Astronomy by identifying stars, constellations and deep sky objects from the Messier and NGC catalogs. If you have a telescope, just strap the phone onto the OTA and you get a PUSHTO guide!
Mobile Observatory by KreApp Development Software
Android, $4.99. Mobile Observatory is one of the most complete astronomy apps on the Android market and the perfect tool for anybody interested in the sky’s wonders, from the occasional sky gazer to the passionate amateur astronomer. Lets you know when the next lunar eclipse is visible from your location, when the next bright comet is visible, the next time Jupiter and the Moon meet in the sky. Always be up-to-date which celestial events are visible from your location.