Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My favourite (free) Astronomy Aps

I suspect with all the excitement of Stargazing LIVE happening next week in the UK, there's going to be a lot of questions/advice floating around about astronomy smart phone Aps. I'm not going to claim this is a comprehensive review or anything like that, but I thought it might be helpful for me to give my list of my favourite free iPhone/iPad Aps for astronomy. I have no commercial interests here (they're all free anyway) and only in the case of the Galaxy Zoo and LookUP Aps do I have any other link to the developers.

1. Daylight
This simple Ap is probably the one I use the most. It just tells you when sunrise and sunset will happen at your location.

2. Planets
This is an Ap to impress your non astronomy friends with. "Sky 3D" works impressively well to show you what's up in the sky in the direction you point your screen. You can also explore 3D globes of all the planets (including ours with the current sunlight/darkness displayed), look at a traditional 2D map of what's in the sky above you, and see the current rise/set times of the Sun, all the planets and the Moon. I am aware there are other free Aps which do some/all of these (and possibly others things as well) but this is the one I have on my iPhone.

3. Exoplanet
A database of all known exoplanets with information about how they were found, what we know about them and in which direction on the sky they are.

4. Galaxy Zoo
Of course I have to give a shout-out to the Galaxy Zoo Ap. You can classify galaxies in any moment of free time on your iPhone. :)

5. APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day)
A simple Ap which displays the image from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website along with its explanation.

6. Moon globe
Displays a map of the phase of the Moon with terrain names, spacecraft sites overlayed.

5.  LookUP
A nice simple Ap from some of my dotastronomy friends. Searches a host of astronomical databases/recent blogs for information on the object of your choice.

So those are my (current) favourites, and a final disclaimer that I am not claiming to have tried all of the Astronomy Aps out there, these are just ones I like.

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