By Q Continuum
Earth’s night sky comes to life through 2D and 3D astronomical maps of stars, constellations and distant planets.
The Recapp Rating
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Gazing up at a clear night sky can be breathtaking, but how much do you really know about your celestial neighborhood? This star app provides a better understanding of our vast universe by bringing the rest of the galaxy closer to home.
Explore space with either a 2D or a 3D map of what we see in the sky. Using GPS technology, the app displays what you should see based on your location. The 2D map provides a flat plane, accurately depicting planets and star groups as if you’re looking up at a night sky. Tap the planets to read more information about their altitude, positioning, and rise and set times.
The 3D map provides a whole new experience! Swipe the screen to change locations on the globe and alter your viewing angle—up, down or even “through” the planet. Check out what the opposite side of Earth sees in its night sky, or focus on tracking the paths of planets visible to us without a telescope. Users can even change the visibility filters to X-ray, infrared or microwave for a completely unexpected perspective.
The visibility chart comes in handy when you want to know the best times to view a certain planet in our solar system. Using your GPS location and time zone information, the Planets app charts times and visibility levels for each planet we can see with the naked eye. Tap a planet of interest to learn more about its classification, mass, orbital track, rotation period, moons and atmosphere. You can even spin our own planet Earth in any direction (yes, even north to south) and see where it’s nighttime versus day.
This app isn’t just for astronomy buffs. Even if you look down to find the North Star, this app is tons of fun and provides endless information on locations we can’t reach from Earth. You may even experience an aha moment when you finally learn the name of that group of stars, or the far-off speck that turns out to be another planet.
Reviewed: Oct 26, 2011 | Bettina Johnson