Stargazing can be a very meditative and deeply moving experience. Think about it, all those suns transmitting their light to our little nook of the universe. How does one really know if they are looking at Orion’s Belt or the Big Dipper? Thankfully, the app store provides 11 great apps to help with this question.
This app is like an interactive astronomy clock on your iPhone. There is a little something here for the casual astrologer in the making to the seasoned observer. iSolarScape will pull your GPS coordinates and present you with constellations and information on your nighttime sky. This is a great primer app for any stargazer.
2. Starmap Pro
This app comes in with a hefty price tag. Yet, this app can easily be considered the atlas of the stars. To start, Starmap Pro comes jam packed with 2,500,000 stars ready for searching. Add on moon phase calendar, Logbook, searchable database via text and ID, and so much more. The die-hard sky watcher will find plenty of meat here to justify the cost.
Solar Walk contains a 3D solar system tucked away in the sleek body of your iPhone. Jump to planets to see them in gorgeous details. See how each planet’s moons travel around a given planet. Top it off with planetary info on things like mass, radius, and distance to the sun. This is a great app for kids and adults of all ages.
SkyGazer is like having your own personal planetarium with you everywhere you go. SkyGazer contains images straight from NASA on stars, galaxies, and nebulae that fill our nighttime sky. Those with an iPhone 3GS and newer can make use of the compass to show you what lies in your starry filled sky.
Do you just enjoy looking at photos captured by the Hubble Telescope? This app is just what you have been looking for then. Four hundred images are easily viewable at the swipe of a finger. Many images include alternate views in the X-ray, visible light, and infrared spectrums.
Exoplanet is a database that is updated on a daily basis. This database contains physical parameters of every single known exoplanet. Add push notifications for whenever a new planet is found and you got yourself an app even Captain Kirk would love to have. It is even free to boot!
7. Mars Globe
Jump onto the red planet that just may one-day end up our new home. Mars Globe contains topographic lighting and atmosphere effects. You can even take a virtual tour of 64 of the more intriguing tourist traps. All this fun without having to leave the comforts of your couch.
Take a trip down history lane with a unique photo perspective. There are over 100 photos, 12 video clips, and plenty of history on the Apollo missions 7 through 17. This even includes the Apollo 11 first lunar landing. This just might be the closest to the moon any of us civilians get.
9. Space Images
Even more photos of spectacular stellar objects. This even includes photos or our own pale blue dot we call home. Rate images, email them to all your friends, and get full description and resolution of those images of desire. Why not put that sexy new retina display to good use with this free app.
10. 3D Sun
3D Sun takes you up close and personal with our own big ball of fire in the sky. View images, movies, and an abundance of solar events happening right now with our giant light bulb. This app is constantly updated with NASA’s STEREO satellites floating millions of miles away.
Never again will you have to question if you are looking at a star or a satellite. GoSatWatch pulls data from NASA on every satellite in the nighttime sky. This even includes the international space station. Get orbiting updates pushed right to your phone as well.