You don’t have to be an aspiring rocket scientist to appreciate astronomy. Anyone can appreciate the stars and the planets and there are apps available to help you do it. Whether you’re teaching astronomy at the elementary level or studying to be an amateur astronomer, use some of the 7 awesome astronomy apps to help you experience the sky in a whole new way.
Starmap works as a virtual telescope and was even named a top app by Sky & Telescope Magazine. Find information on over 350,000 stars and other celestial objects. Study stars during the day or use the full night vision mode to analyze the sky around you in the evening. Zoom in and out of the star maps in the app to get a better view of what you are seeing.
Star Walk has been named a top educational and reference app. The app is designed to help students at all levels learn about individual stars, constellations and other elements of the sky. It features daytime and nighttime views of the sky, detailed images and the ability to connect with star gazers around the world. It also features satellite tracking and calendars of celestial events.
More advanced astronomy fans or students and avid telescope users will appreciate the SkEye Planetarium app for Android. The app works as PUSHTO guide for a telescope and features information contained in the NGC and Messier catalogs. It also features a history mode to allow you to see the sky on different nights or review different discoveries.
Pocket Universe helps users learn more about the stars and planets they see around them. With its built-in compass, it can provide you with a labeled view of the same sky you look up to see. It also comes with games to help you learn about the solar system and the planets it contains.
Mobile Observatory, designed for Android phones, puts a planetarium in your pocket. Designed for all levels of sky gazing, the app helps you learn more about planets and stars and identify what you see in the night sky. The app will also make sure you do not miss major events in the sky. For example, if you want to catch the next meteor shower, the app can tell you when it should be and send you reminders.
Designed for Android phones, Sky Map is designed to help you figure out what you’re looking at in the night sky. With its GPS navigation tools and internal compass, Sky Map can identify a specific star or planet you are looking at. The app can also help you locate stars and planets if they are currently visible where you are.
Beginning and amateur stargazers will benefit from Star Search by Steven Hundley. The app helps users find 16 different constellations. Each constellation includes multiple pictures to help you see how it may look from different viewpoints, a few bits of information about the constellation and the best times for viewing. The app is also designed for night use, featuring dark backgrounds and light text to allow you to focus on the stars.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.