The best astronomy apps for stargazing this summer
The Webb and Hubble telescopes have blessed us with breathtaking new images of the cosmos earlier this month, leaving many inspired to learn more about the space.
With these astronomy apps, you can use your phone to see which stars and constellations are above you in real time, day or night. Whether you’re planning on stargazing, curious about what constellations are in your location, or just want to flex with your family and friends around the campfire, the following apps can show you what you’re seeing. in the sky.
Stellarium has been my go-to app for years. It’s very user-friendly and the filters allow you to customize your stargazing experience. You can choose to have grids, constellations, landscape, atmosphere, and labels. There’s also a night mode option, which turns your phone’s screen red. This feature allows you to use the app at night without disturbing your night vision, which is essential for stargazing.
You can download Stellarium from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
2. Star Walk 2
Like Stellarium, Star Walk 2 is a multifunctional application for astronomy beginners and enthusiasts. The augmented reality feature connects to your phone’s camera, so you can see a real-time mapped version of your night sky. Star Walk 2 not only tells you what celestial objects are visible right now, but also keeps you up to date with the latest astronomy news with its news section. The app also offers a night mode option for in-person stargazing.
You can download Star Walk 2 on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
3. Sky Guide
True to its name, Sky Guide provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the stars and constellations. You can customize your visualization of the night sky on the app, and you can also click on each individual celestial object to learn more about it. While Stellarium and Star Walk 2 also offer this feature, Sky Guide has more detailed descriptions. Sky Guide also has a news section, a calendar of upcoming astronomical events, and a night vision mode.
You can download Sky Guide from the Apple App Store.
SkyView Lite is your basic sky viewing app. Simple and intuitive, you can use SkyView Lite to use either augmented reality to apply the sky map to your sky in real time, or the sky map and compass as is. You can also click on various celestial objects to find out what they are and where they are in space. SkyView Lite also has a night vision mode and the ability to add your favorite celestial objects to a list.
You can download SkyView Lite from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
5. Sky Live: Viewer from the skies above
A sister app to Sky Walk 2, Sky Live isn’t technically a stargazing app. However, it’s an incredibly useful app to check out before you go stargazing, as it tells you the stargazing conditions for a specific location. Sky Live gives you a percentage of how good the viewing conditions are at that time, so you’re better prepared for your stargazing mission.
You can download Sky Live: Heavens Above Viewer from the Apple App Store.
Credit: Mike Pearl
If you’re willing to spare a few bucks, SkySafari is a beloved stargazing app that lets you explore the solar system in detail, almost like your phone is a telescope. You can download SkySafari from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.