Space is a topic that has captured the attention and imagination of millions around the world. Given its vastness and mysterious nature, it is common to gaze up at the night sky and wonder how we as humans fit into the cosmic story. Although the realm of space exploration and viewing have typically required expensive and sophisticated hardware such as telescopes, the introduction of mobile apps have made it accessible to nearly anybody with an iPhone. Given these developments, this article discusses the best apps for astronomy enthusiasts that are inexpensive and can be used right from the mobile device.
As an organization that is recognized around the world as one of the leading space exploration agencies, NASA is often synonymous with everything related to space. For this reason, NASA is an app which aggregates all of the activity that the organization does into a single platform. In doing so, users can easily keep track of what NASA is doing as well as their missions without having to go to various places such as their website and social media. For example, users can see images and videos that have been posted, live events such as launches, and even satellite trackers in real time. With all of this information available through the app, it covers a wide range of space exploration activities that all astronomy enthusiasts would be interested in. As the app is updated constantly with pictures, schedules, events, and news, users can get notified as soon as they occur so that major events are never missed, making it a highly recommended app for all things space related.
Night Sky (iOS)
With all of the light pollution that makes it difficult to see the night sky clearly, Night Sky is an app that is able to reveal the various constellations and celestial bodies even in sub-optimal viewing conditions. Extremely easy to use, all that a user has to do is open the app and point the camera at the sky to see the different formations. The app even works in daytime and also does not need to be connected to an internet connection or GPS to operate, making it great for trips that are farther away from the home. Beyond being able to explore the various constellations and planets in the solar system in real time, Night Sky allows for historical formations to be seen as users can choose a point in time which they would like to see how the sky would have looked and then the app will allow users to explore the sky at this time. With a navigation mechanism that only requires users to turn the manoeuvre the camera to see the different objects in the sky, Night Sky is a must have for those who are either unable to see the sky clearly or want to identify the celestial objects.
One of the hottest companies in the realm of space exploration is SpaceX. Having implemented reusable rockets and with the vision of taking humans to Mars, it is a company that has pushed the limits of space technology. Although not an official app by SpaceX, SpaceXNow is an app that lets users follow the activities of SpaceX so that major milestones or developments are not missed. As many of the flights by SpaceX are broadcasted live, watching the launches from anywhere in the world is possible as long as users know what time it is occurring. With the app, notifications are given when the launches occur as well as all of the news that the company releases so that users do not miss any updates. As the hottest company in the space industry while still being relatively new, SpaceX has gained a tremendous following that is able to significantly benefit from the app.
Given the increasing popularity of space and the innovations that are being done in the industry, these apps lets users explore the elements of space in an entirely different way. From being able to view the objects in the night sky with great precision to following the most important space-based companies, the apps listed in this article are must have for astronomy enthusiasts.