Pocket Universe lights up the night sky

Aug 31, 2009
Education

I found Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy to be among my most impressive and compelling app purchases to date. Even if you’re not an astronomy buff, you will be amazed at the programming in this guide to the stars. Given your location and time of day, Pocket Universe will display a virtual representation of the […]

I found Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy to be among my most impressive and compelling app purchases to date. Even if you’re not an astronomy buff, you will be amazed at the programming in this guide to the stars.

Given your location and time of day, Pocket Universe will display a virtual representation of the sky at any given moment. If you’re outside on a clear night, simply launch this app and after it determines where you are (either using GPS or manual input) and the time, it will point out the stars as well as other major celestial objects, such as the moon and planets.

Here’s where it really shines though. With an iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPod Touch, you simply tilt the device in an up-and-down direction, and it will adjust your view accordingly. To move left and right, simply drag the screen with your finger. Pocket Universe will also highlight constellation lines, names of objects and even locate an object in the sky with helpful directional arrows.

If you have the iPhone 3GS, no dragging is necessary. Simply move your phone in any direction and the built-in compass will move the sky view accordingly.

There are a lot of goodies crammed into this app, such as a nightly sky report, moon phase chart, constellation quiz, and Wikipedia links.

Better, most of this can be accomplished without needing a network connection, thus freeing you to use it from anywhere. This app is well worth the $2.99 purchase price.

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Mark Smithivas

Mark Smithivas is an independent wireless and mobile analyst, gadget enthusiast and proud parent of two rugrats. He'd rather text you than call, and is still on the lookout for the perfect drive-thru app.

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