Stargazing is such a fun activity! Backyard stargazers used to have our nose stuck in books as we tried to discover what we had just seen in the night sky. However, with the emergence of astronomy apps has taken our learning to a whole new level.
We are now getting experiences of the night sky like never before we discover what we have just seen thought our telescope with the swipe of a finger.
There are many different astronomy apps some free and some paid we are going to concentrate on the free astronomy apps here. As these are free apps you can get them down to try them out and ditch the ones you don’t like.
Here is our top 6 free astronomy apps.
Celestron SkyPortal is brought to use as the name suggests Celestron, if you purchase a Celestron telescope the app will come recommended within all the literature.
The thing I really like about this app is how you can simulate the night sky and point and discover with audio commentary this is a premium feature for free.
You can also link this app up to compatible Celestron telescopes like the Celestron Nexstar 5se, to automatically point at any object in its vast database of stars, star cluster, nebulae and galaxies.
Want to know what the best objects in the sky tonight? Simple select “Tonight’s Best” in the search list to see what objects will be best to observe that night.
There are many other features to discover in this brilliant app and I would recommend downloading it to give it a try.
Looking for a powerful planetarium that fits in your pocket, then you will want to try out the SkySafari app.
You can simulate the night sky and point and discover, want to discover an object you already know to use your voice to search it out of the database no typing required.
To get the full benefit out of this app there are in-app purchases to take it to a whole new level, it’s an app worth taking a look at but not one I upgraded as I feel the SkyPortal give you it all for free.
Again we turn or smartphone into a virtual planetarium, simple point your phone in the direction of the sky and you will have a vast amount of stars, constellations, and satellites that the app can identify for you.
The great feature of this app is the fact that you can be notified of any upcoming stargazing events. So you can prepare your telescope for a night of stargazing in your backyard.
The Star chart app is more aimed at learning the objects in the night sky a little deeper; with a simple press of the finger, you can discover a ray of facts about most of the stars and planets like distance and brightness. This app will teach you a lot of interesting facts about each object and you will be a much better astronomer in no time!
So if you are looking to take your knowledge of the night sky to a new level this is the app for you.
Ok, not actually a stargazing app but what budding astronomer doesn’t want the NASA app on their smartphone? You will get in-depth information from NASA themselves with NASA seemingly adding more events to the population to view be the first to hear about up and coming events.
At the time of writing this post I was notified that SpaceX’s 1st astronaut launch was going to be streamed live, it was one of the most-watched events online ever. An unbelievable experience to watch and enjoy live and there are many other events that you will be notified about with this app.
Bonus App the StarSense Explorer
Ok to use this app you are going to need a compatible telescope like the StarSense Explorer DX 102AZ to combine this telescope with the app and you have an astronomers dream come true.
Simply mount your smartphone, seek out a star or planet and the phone will indicate in what direction to move the telescope until it pinpoints the object it’s utterly brilliant.
There are now hundreds of Astronomy Apps available to download some free many are paid. However, I have discovered you don’t need to spend any money right away to find an excellent app.
My recommendation would be to download each of the apps and try them out over a few nights under the stars and see which one best suit you, as they are free you have nothing to lose.
So on your next night under the stars I hope these apps can help you discover some new objects in the night sky and fill you with lots of extra knowledge.