Astronomy is one of mankind’s oldest sciences. Since prehistoric times people have been looking up to the heavens, marveling at the incredible mystery and beauty of the celestial objects they observed. We still do so today. Unlike those ancient people, we have the benefits of technology to help us identify those strange objects in the sky. If you’ve ever looked up into the night sky and wanted to know what you were looking at, there are some great Android apps for free that will help you get the most out of your stargazing experience. Here are they:
1. Google Sky Map:
Google Sky Map is an application for Android phones that gives you a ‘window on the sky’. Just point your phone at the sky and it will tell you which star, planet or constellation you’re looking at. It will identify objects that appear in the sky and allow users to search for them.
Sky Map enables users to identify stars and planets by pointing their devices towards these objects in the sky and automatically adjusts to identify the objects that appear on the screen. Sky Map uses the Android devices’ built-in compass, GPS, and clock to display an annotated Sky Map of the area it is facing.
Sky Map lets you switch various layers such as constellations, planets, grids, and deep sky objects choosing to make these elements visible or not. Over one thousand stars and all of the planets in our solar system are searchable and visible in the app. Users can also view and search for constellations and individual stars. In addition to zoom controls and on/off features there’s a search function that allows you to determine the locations of planets and stars relative to their current location. Input the name of a star or planet and the app will direct you to its location.
Requirements: Android 1.5 and up and 2.2M in size.
Best of Astronomy is a great virtual Astronomy textbook, featuring a wide range of high quality graphics, videos, books, and articles on multiple astronomy topics (e.g., origin of universe, solar system, galaxies, black holes, cosmology, famous scientists) along with option to add your ideas and create your own reports which you can share with friends.
Requirements: Android 2.1 and up. Size: 478k
3. NASA App:
This is the official NASA App for Android and features a huge collection of images, videos, mission information, news and other great content including: thousands of images from NASA IOTD, APOD and NASAImages.org, current NASA Mission Information, launch information & countdown clocks, Facebook Connect and Integrated Twitter client for easy sharing, live Streaming of NASA TV and Third Rock Radio, where you can listen to out of this world alternative rock.
Requirements: Android 2.1 and up. 4.4M in size.
4. NEO Droid – Asteroid Watch:
NEO stands for Near Earth Objects. The NEO Droid – Asteroid Watch app allows you to track the asteroids and comets that make relatively close approaches to earth. Be the first one to know when the world is coming to an end! The NEO Android app allows you to sort the NEOs by date, size and closest approach distance.
Requirements: Android 1.6 and up. 141k in size.
5. ISS Detector:
The International Space Station Detector ( ISS Detector ) is an easy to use automatic ISS and satellite tracker. The ISS Detector app notifies you when the International Space Station is visible from your location. This app gives you all the information you need for tracking the International Space Station, including an overview of the coming passes, weather conditions, a radar screen that shows the ISS’s flight path and allows you to share sightings.
Requirements: Android 2.1 and up. 1.4M in size.
Thanks Donal James