Space is, as we know, the final frontier. But unless you happen to be a rocket-surgeon at NASA, or so sickeningly wealthy you’ve have your own space program with a view to conquering the planet, you’ll probably never get any closer to leaving the gravitational pull of the Earth than cruising at 33,000ft with a tray of largely inedible food, near a screaming baby, on your way to, say, Spain.
And that’s a real shame, because the general clutter of the universe is truly staggering, made up of stars of all sizes and colours, planets of varying degrees of interest to life-hunters, and all kinds of weird stuff like dark matter, black holes, dark energy and, of course, alien invasion fleets determined to enslave humanity and become our overlords.
Whetted your interest? Want to learn more about the stuff outside of your own selfish sky? Good, then let Android educate with this astronomical array of apps…
The best selling mobile astronomy app in the world, Star Chart is your one-stop guide to the galaxy. Open the app, point skywards and let the GPS work out exactly where you are and the precise location of every star and planet above you, in real time, charted on a 3D map and helpfully labelled. A zoom function lets you explore deeper, a full Search lets you look up the heavenly body of your desires and a handy sub-horizon features lets you see the stars all around the planet.
Due to continued dumbing-down, most real planetariums these days just project photos cut from Heat magazine onto their ceiling. So if you’ve an interest beyond our own ignorant ionosphere, then allow yourself to be dazzled by the stars, planets, asteroids, star clusters, galaxies, etc, of Vortex Planetarium. Utilising augmented reality to let you bring the universe to your fingertips, you can search by object name, location or just let your GPS open the skies above you.
Zenith Mobile Telescope
Ever sit on a hill in the countryside at night, away from light polution, possibly a bit drunk, and think to yourself “What’s out there?” Well, wonder no more thanks to Zenith Telescope. Point your smartphone at the sky and receive an explorable star chart featuring stunning images of planets, constellations, nebulae and different galaxies like you’ve never seen them before courtesy of images from the telescope of telescopes, the Hubble. Is this app spoke it would sound like Brian Cox…
Featuring less of the bells and whistles and more of the bare bones, Sky Map, is your Patrick Moore end of the equation – it drools over images from the Hubble as much as anyone, but it’s the detail it really enjoys. A window on the sky at night, point your Android up and have stars, planets and constellations displayed before you. With a neat arrow-driven search feature too, this is all any amateur astronomer really requires.
Set faces for stunnned! Mobile Observatory is nothing less that a space fact feast. Comprised of searchable, interact star maps, realtime solar system top-view, event calendars, GPS location, eclipse info, catalogues, databases, 3D animations and even calculations for dates between 1900 and 2100, it’s an essential astronomy tool that’ll always educate and is worth its asolute weight in even Jupiter-gravity gold.