Astronomy for iPhones

I don't have an iPhone but I know a few people that do. The two point touch screen is certainly cool and the ability for people to make applications is very nice (even if limited to what Apple approves). This ability to make your own software has allowed many ideas to be tried out and there are a growing number of astronomy related applications available. I thought I'd mention a couple of iPhone astronomy programs here and people can add any more in the comments.

First up is Star Walk. It is an "official product" of the International Year of Astronomy and acts like a cut-down version of Stellarium showing you what you can see in the night sky. It provides more detailed information about objects by linking to Wikipedia articles. It also has a helpful night mode (red) to keep your dark eye adaption if you're using it outside at night.

Next is Planetarium v1.0 which seems to be the iPhone equivalent to a cut-down Celestia. It allows you to zoom around the solar system seeing 3D representations of the planets. The YouTube video shows that you can zoom in with the iPhone's natural two-finger zoom control and the planets seem nicely rendered, especially when you remember that this is all being done on a phone.

Finally, I'll mention Alasdair Allan's iPhone version of my lookUP service. Alasdair has done all the hard work of building the iPhone side of things to interact with my back-end part. In fact, some of his finishing touches to his application inspired me to include pretty Wikisky/DSS images in the search results of the standard version of lookUP.

If you have an iPhone and want to know what that object in the sky is or where the planets are, you now have some options.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 20th Apr 2009 (16:55 BST) | Permalink
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