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Best Stargazing Apps for iPhones and Android

Best Stargazing Apps

People have been passionate about stargazing for centuries, and there are hundreds of stargazing apps that aim to offer you a deeper insight into the wonders of the Universe. However, if you are just getting started, then you need several basic yet factual and well-written astronomy apps for beginners. Most of the time, all you have to do is point them at the night sky, and they'll demystify what's in front of you, be it stars, planets, constellations, or man-made objects like satellites or the International Space Station.

And, whether you're an expert stargazer in need of some more fascinating reading to quench your thirst for knowledge, a newbie looking to take up the hobby or have a stargazer in your life to buy for, we have some best night sky apps for stargazers to keep you occupied in the daytime until the stars come out. From planetarium simulators to lists of object coordinates, there are numerous, varied astronomy-themed apps available.

Here is the list of best stargazing apps to help you spot planets, stars and constellations.

Star Walk

( Android, iPhone, iPad )

Star Walk 2 is a stargazing app that uses your phone's sensors and GPS to show you a map of the night sky in real time, pinpointing the location of stars, planets, constellations, comets, the ISS and satellites.  Star Walk is an augmented reality stargazing app for spotting over 200,000 stars, planets, constellations, satellites and galaxies. Designed for the iPad, it looks fantastic on the new pro editions.

Star Walk is a handy astronomy app that shows celestial objects (stars, constellations, satellites, etc.) in the exact positions on the sky above you, providing information about them. It helps you find your way across the sky, determine where to look for any chosen object, rewind or fast-forward time to see how celestial bodies move. Star Walk Kids takes an energizing, excitement-filled trip that goes where all incredible space games for kids should - to the milky way and beyond.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android


SkySafari

( Android, iPhone, iPad )

SkySafari is a great free stargazing app with a beautiful, crisp interface. The SkySafari astronomy app, $3 on iOS and free with in-app purchases Android, lets you hold your phone to the sky to identify planets, constellations, stars and satellites. You can also use the app to see what the sky might've looked like thousands of years ago, or what it will look like in the future.

Simulate past meteor showers, approaching comets and celestial events, like eclipses. SkySafari also has a constellation illustration overlay feature in case you can't quite visualize the lion or bear that everyone else claims to see. The app also offers history, mythology and science information to accompany the images.

If you're not sure where to get started, you can tap Tonight's Best in the app to check out which object in the sky you could get the best look at.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android



SkyView® Free

( Android, iPhone, iPad )

Skyview Free is another sleek, modern stargazing app. To use Skyview, just point your device at the sky and you can get started identifying galaxies, stars, constellations, planets -- even the International Space Station. The app has night mode and an AR feature, so you can use it comfortably any time. 

The app's Sky Path's feature lets you track objects in space to see exact locations at any date and time. In addition, Skyview has a time travel option to observe what the sky looked like in the past and might look like in the future.

SkyView app is one of the free stargazing app that allow students to see what's in the sky above them. They point the device in any direction and see what planets, constellations, and even satellites are in the sky. When they see something, they can tap on it, and then read a bunch of facts about it.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android



NASA

( Android, iPhone, iPad )

Assuming you’re online, NASA gives you access to a treasure trove of astronomy delights. There are thousands of beautiful images and videos, a slew of TV channels and news articles, and live streaming video from the International Space Station, where you can watch the Earth slowly turning beneath one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

Providing you with over 15,000 images, and all the latest news within astronomy, there’s a lot to take in. You can also view over 13,000 NASA videos, check out upcoming sighting opportunities and watch live NASA TV.

Spotting the International Space Station is a fun activity to partake in, but knowing when to look is the tricky part. ISS Spotter offers a forecast of visible passes, enabling you to set alarms so you’ll always be on time to check it out. Its built in compass and other tools make it easy for you to gaze at the ISS as it passes over us.

Cost: Free

Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android


Sky Map

( Android )

Sky Map was originally developed as Google Sky Map, dedicated for amateur stargazers. It has recently been donated and open-sourced. The user-friendly app also uses your phone’s compass for orientation and to gather accurate specs of celestial objects.

To get the most out of the app, calibrate your device’s compass by moving it horizontally in a figure-of-8 motion and switch off the ‘magnetic correction‘ in the app’s Setting if there is any magnetic or metal object nearby. Sky Map is only available on Google Play Store.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android


Star Chart

( Android )

Star Chart lets you to see the stars and planets in the skies accurately by pointing their Android device towards the sky. This stargazing app makes it easy for you to learn more about the objects you are viewing by tapping the star or planet. One of the amazing feature is Time Shift that allows you to go back and forth in time to see past and future celestial placement patterns. Like the others, point this at the sky to see what's above you. But then, when you're done, point it down on the ground to get a view of the sky on the other side of the world.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android


Mobile Observatory is a great stargazing app that uses your current location to show the objects in the night sky. The stars,constellations and deep sky objects are visualized well. The description of planets, moon's stages and eclipses are detailed and easy to understand.The calendar in the app allows us to get information of past and future cosmic events. 

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android


SkEye Planetarium is free and has a huge database of solar system objects, Messier and constellations. Search function guides you to point your mobile and zoom in onto the object you are looking for. Have your own tracking system by attaching the mobile to your telescope and align the app's map to it. You can use this like a regular planetarium app, or, if you have a telescope, you can use it in conjunction and have it guide your towards objects of interest.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android


Night Sky

( iPhone, iPad )

The free version of Night Sky places it as one of the best apps out there for stargazing. Night Sky is a long-running ‘planetarium in your pocket’ app that lets you shoot for the stars – no matter what time of day it is. The app uses your device’s internal accelerometer to overlay a 3D rendering of space, complete with star systems and planets which appear as you hold your device up and move around the sky. The app can be used at any time of day and shows you what would be visible in that position if it was a clear dark night, or you had a telescope.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone and iPad


Best of Astronomy

( Android )

Best of Astronomy - Create research papers for schools and colleges quickly. Enter the area of research and the application will displays latest news, videos, scholarly reports, wiki data and related books on Astronomy. Learn from reports submitted by your peers on diverse educational topics solar system, our universe, origin of the universe and any other topic of interest.


Google Sky lets you explore the reaches of space through the "eyes" of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Digitized Sky Survey. You can explore the wealth of information available free on mobile or desktop. Click through the tray at the bottom of the screen to learn more about the solar system, constellations, galaxies and nebulae, views of the universe in x-ray, ultraviolet and infrared. You can also use sliding bars to see drawings of the sky by Giovanni Maria Cassini. Plus, find where the planets are in the sky at a given time by typing the name of a planet in the search box.

We hope you've found the perfect apps for stargazers of all ages in our range. Whether you were looking for a helpful guide to get your stargazing hobby started or a brilliant astronomical read for your kid, we hope you enjoy taking a look at the amazing sights the sky has to offer this year.