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SkySafari

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
Download for Android Download for iOS

About SkySafari

SkySafari is a point-and-identify sky map that includes the major planets and moons; tens of thousands of stars; 220 of the best-known star clusters; and nebulae, galaxies, asteroids, comets, and more. Students can learn about astronomy by viewing planets, stars, and celestial bodies; searching for specific objects of interest; or looking at noteworthy astronomical sightings in that night's sky. 

Teacher Review

The base versions of SkySafari seem to be free for both Android and iOS users, but the versions of the app are different. The Google Play store has a SkySafari 5, while the App store offers a SkySafari6.

Read also: Best Stargazing Apps

Both seem to offer the ability to locate planets, constellations, satellites, and more using the app, no matter which device you’re using. There’s also more expensive versions of the app in both stores; SkySafari 6 Plus and SkySafari 6 Pro are available in the App store, for instance. So it all depends on what features you’re looking for and what you’re willing to pay for them.

As you manually explore the virtual heavens, the app provides precise positioning data regarding what you’re looking at. If you have a compatible telescope, you can connect the app to it, tilting and panning your device to rapidly help you find what you want to see in the night sky. And before it gets dark, SkySafari enables you to plan targets for stargazing sessions, with filters such as object types, time ranges, and constellation.

Perhaps surprisingly, all these features don’t rob SkySafari of immediacy, although it is a mite less friendly than Sky Guide AR. However, if you do dive in, be mindful that this is an app that needs a certain level of time investment and dedication to truly get the best of its deep and powerful feature set.

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App Details

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Category

Skills

Critical Thinking
Engagement and Usability

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Southern Stars

Download SkySafari

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Screenshots for SkySafari

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Publisher's Description

SkySafari is a powerful planetarium that fits in your pocket, puts the universe at your fingertips, and is incredibly easy to use! SkySafari comes in three versions. This is basic version of SkySafari. It shows you 120,000 stars, plus 220 of the best-known star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in the sky. It displays the Solar System's major planets and moons using NASA spacecraft imagery, and includes the best-known asteroids and comets.

SkySafariaccurately shows you the sky from any place on Earth, at any time up to one hundred years in the past or future. It includes encyclopedic descriptions of the constellations, stars, and planets written by professional astronomers. And it contains hundreds of images from NASA space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the world's foremost astro-photographers.

If you have an iPhone/iPad with a compass, or an iPod Touch with a gyroscope, SkySafari can help you identify stars and planets by holding your phone next to them. Tap the Compass/Gyro button (or shake your phone) to activate the compass - now, as you move the phone around, the sky chart follows your motion. Search for any object in the sky, and follow the arrow on screen to find it!

SkySafari has a "Night" button to preserve your dark adaptation as you're exploring the night sky. The Time Flow feature lets you animate the night sky using simple VCR controls - follow the motion of the stars and planets as SkySafari compresses days, months, and years into a few seconds.

SkySafari includes SkyWeek - the mobile version of Sky & Telescope Magazine's super-popular "Sky at a Glance" column. SkyWeek features interactive sky charts for each day of the week, and links to more articles on S&T's website. SkyWeek shows you all major sky events: eclipses, conjunctions, good meteor showers — miss nothing!

And all this is just in the basic version! SkySafari's streamlined user interface puts both power and simplicity into your hands - and turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into an invaluable tool for exploring the night sky. SkySafari is more than a star chart - it's your celestial travel guide!

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