See all the stars you desire with SkyView iPhone app

Apr 18, 2011

Living in highly populated areas tends to make it difficult to see the stars, but SkyView — Explore the Universe solves that dilemma with style by providing an augmented reality view of the stars, planets and satellites above you.

The app opens on a quick tutorial on its basic features, but you’ll notice as soon as you point your iPhone in any direction that stars are all around you, even if you can’t see them. It’s stunning to see how many different constellations are right over your head that you’re just missing out on.

SkyView is tremendously easy to use, even setting aside its point-and-use features. You can limit the available objects in your augmented reality view with a few quick taps, so if you only want to see planets or only want to see stars you can do so without much fuss.

Among the other great features here are the snippets of information provided by clicking on a constellation or satellite. You can learn a few paragraphs of info about each item in the sky, and come away a bit wiser than before.

There’s even a moon and sun tracker that shows you the path that our brightest star and closest satellite have taken on a given day. Moving the app around the sky after tapping the sun, for instance, would show you the exact place it was at any particular time. You can even see where the rest of the stars will be in the sky on any date in the past or future.

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If you have even a slight interest in astronomy, this is a no-brainer download. It doesn’t overstuff you with information, but does provide snippets you might not know in addition to being an invaluable guide to tracking constellations and planets.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.


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