In this guide, we have decided to list the four best apps to know exactly the position of the Moon, stars, constellations and planets from an Android or iOS smartphone.
Sky Map (Android, free)
The first application on the list is known to Google users, since it was part of the search giant until it was abandoned and then reborn by a group of developers. The app is a sort of augmented reality planetarium, which follows the orientation and location of the device to show what is right behind it.
The program allows you to search for planets, stars and other bodies, as well as filter what is seen on the screen. Lastly, there is a night mode that puts the brightness of the screen almost at a minimum and leaves all texts and information dark red, which helps in tracking the sky.
SkyView Free (Android and iOS, free)
The second app in the list takes a ride on Sky Map and improves some points (many). It also uses the sensors on your smartphone or tablet to know the orientation and position in the world, but leaves the camera turned on to make the user experience really “augmented reality.”
In the app, you can identify galaxies, stars, constellations (with pictures of what they represent), planets and even satellites like Hubble and the International Space Station. In addition to the artificial satellites, in SkyView it is possible to see the trajectory of any object that is visible on the screen of the cell phone.
The app is free and in this mode you can do everything that is listed, but there is a paid version that removes ads, allows you to search for more satellites, displays more nebulae, galaxies and displays all 88 visible constellations.
- SkyView Free can be downloaded by clicking here for Android and here for iOS.
- The paid version can be purchased by clicking here for Android and here for iOS.
Star Walk 2 (Android and iOS, free)
The cool thing about SkyView is that it shows details of planets, satellites, constellations, comets, and our beloved Moon. The cool thing about this app is that if you make the tweezer move to zoom the screen, a three-dimensional version of the object is displayed with extra information about details such as the core of a planet or locations where sent probes landed.
The free version of the application allows the basics of space exploration, such as finding planets, constellations and satellites, but for additional data, more bodies in the universe, and eliminating advertisements, there is a paid version of the app.
Sky Guide (iOS, paid)
If there was an exclusive for Android, here is the iOS exclusive and my favorite for Apple’s mobile platform: the Sky Guide. Just like the previous one, this application also works by opening the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch camera to identify and give information about stars, satellites, galaxies, constellations, planets, the Moon and more.
In all, 2.5 million stars are cataloged and the application even says when it will be the next meteor shower that will occur in its exact location. You can change the date to have the position of each sky star and even set up for a notification to be sent to Apple Watch when an astronomical event is about to happen.
- The Sky Guide costs $2.99 at the time of this article’s publication, is only available for iOS and can be purchased by clicking here.