Technology has brought a revolution in every field, and astronomy isn’t untouched by it. Today I will share some of the best space apps out there on the web with you. Although you will most probably find me with books, pen, and paper, I find several apps extremely useful. I’ve been seeing some great apps in the last few years, of great importance to any astronomy lover. I must say, the astronomy apps I’m going to talk about here are good for any level of knowledge. Some of them are indeed meant for beginners, but the package and stuff they have are interesting to everybody, that’s for sure.
The Best Astronomy Apps
Stellarium tops the list of the best astronomy apps. I’ve been participating in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad for 3 years now, and I’ve been using this application since I started studying astronomy. If you ask most of the students on the national team, they will tell you that most of their preparation for the international Olympiad’s observational round, they’ve been learning from Stellarium.
Why is this application so good? First, it is the best app that shows you the night sky at any moment in time you want. Also, you can press the “Play” button, choose a speed, and watch the stars moving on their path through the night. Besides that, the app is great as it highlights the constellations, main stars, paths of their planets on their orbit, satellites, etc. The app is also great for its other features, such as the on-map options to see the azimuthal grid and the equatorial grid. You also get to see the deep-sky objects visible.
And so we come to another great feature of the application, and that is, in brief, the information. You have access to so much information! Just by clicking on a star, or galaxy, or nebula, or whatever you see in the sky, you get full data on the object’s type, apparent magnitude, absolute magnitude, distance, or position in the sky. That is extremely useful for any amateur. It is also useful for any serious learner, of course. I learned the main stars’ magnitudes just by checking out Stellarium now and then.
Coming from the extremely interesting Stepan Brychta, the creator of “Quantum App,” we have this app, “Universe,” discussing the Cosmos this time. It explains the most important cosmology topics as good as possible, making it essential for astronomy and astrophysics lovers.
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Universe lovers! Now, what’s better than checking out some beautiful pictures of the Earth or Moon from time to time? Checking out a whole archive of pictures with almost all the objects in the Universe, I’d say. Even better: “Space Images” is an official JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, of NASA) app. The collection is coming from NASA itself.
You can choose from many categories, see pictures by missions, or planets, or stars. Also, the “Favorites” feature lets you save your favorite pictures into your personal library. The app is as awesome as it sounds. Definitely check it out.
Great app, coming from some great guys. It helps you be in touch with every space launch globally, and it has a great interface and exciting features to do so. One of these interesting features of the app is the “History” one, which provides a fairly good spaceflight history.
The “Space launch now” application tracks all the launches of NASA, SpaceX, Orbital/ATK, Roscosmos, ESA, JAXA, and many more. Also, besides giving the history of spaceflight, you can check profiles of astronauts or vehicle information. Space launch now is one of the great astronomy apps out there on the web.
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Want to be in touch with the last astronomy and astrophysics news? Then check out this app, “Space and Astronomy news.” My favorite feature is that it lets me choose my interest domains and make a personalized feed for me. That I find great. Want to watch NASA, black holes, and solar science news? No problem. Space exploration? Maybe want to follow a particular rocket?
Clear Outside is free to use Mobile Weather App with several powerful features. It provides detailed information on Cloud Coverage, Wind Speed, Visibility, and several other factors that can be essential for photography. Not only that, but it also includes the timings at which ISS (International Space Station) passes through the location, proving quite handy to anyone.
Photopills ($ 9.99)
Next up, we have Photopills, an all in one app for astrophotographers and astronomy enthusiasts. It works by helping you plan your photos ahead of time, so you always get the perfect shot at the perfect moment. Be it a lunar eclipse or a meteor shower; it will calculate precise settings and exposure times so that you always get the best shot possible. Though the price tag of $9.99 can be a bit high for some people, compared to the features that this amazing app includes, the price is worth it!
If you are on a budget smartphone, Sky Map is your way to go! This incredibly light and reliable planetarium app includes all the information to help anyone track the astronomical object to their choice.