Want the night sky inside your cozy little room? All you need is a device that supports augmented reality (AR) and a cool astronomy app to explore distant stars, planets, comets, and galaxies.
Attention all armchair astronomers! We bring to you five amazing astronomy apps that can bring the night sky to your pocket even in broad daylight:
Star Chart allows you to explore the endless corners of the universe on your phone. The app uses your phone’s GPS to calculate the real-time position of every star and planet visible from Earth. You can either download it for free from the Play Store. Apple users will find the app on the iTunes store.
Use finger gestures to look around over 120,000 stars, 88 constellations and numerous planets and satellites – all rendered in 3D.
Star Walk 2
This astronomy app not only allows you to explore the starry night sky but also tells you the real-time position, altitude, direction and distance from Earth of the celestial objects on a beautiful, engaging interface.
Found both on Google Play Store and the iTunes store, Star Walk 2 offers you a unique feature called Time Machine to go back or forth in time and see the sky as it was 10,000 years ago or how it would be next year.
If you are a true astronomy geek and want the app interface more straightforward and informative, SkEye is the perfect fit for you. The app is available only on the Play Store (sorry, Apple users). SkEyE introduces itself as an advanced Planetarium that can be used as a guide for telescope users.
Get mesmerized while exploring the endless sky in Night Mode. A guiding arrow and an equatorial grid are there to support you in navigation. The app also includes the time machine feature that lets you hop to any date in the past or in the future.
Sky View 2
Sky View 2 uses your phone camera and GPS to create a seamless AR experience of the sky inside your room. Don’t be surprised if your wall clock shows a planet on it or if the Hubble telescope passes right above your head.
Sky Map was originally developed as Google Sky Map, dedicated for amateur stargazers. It has recently been donated and open-sourced. The user-friendly app also uses your phone’s compass for orientation and to gather accurate specs of celestial objects.
Considering the features and unique user interfaces of all the above apps, it was very difficult to decide on one winner. However, in our opinion, with its simple user interface, seamless AR, and informative features, Sky View does get an upper hand above the rest.
Let us know which app impressed you the most and happy stargazing!