The 10 Best astronomy apps

What better way to get a sense of your place in the universe than with one of the myriad stargazing apps. Here are the best...

Will Coldwell
Wednesday 30 October 2013 21:30 GMT

1. Space Images

There's nothing quite as mind blowing as a photo of a black hole imploding, a star being born or a solar flare. This app works with Nasa's recently launched Space Images website to send you the latest pictures from the solar system.

Free, Android

2. UFO World Sightings HD

If you're on the hunt for alien beings, this app will help keep you informed of all extra-terrestrial happenings. The interactive map charts every UFO sighting in the world, with hundreds of pictures and videos of UFOs.

£0.99, iOS

3. Mobile Observatory

It comes at a price, but Mobile Observatory really is one of the most comprehensive astronomy apps available. As well as a zoomable sky map, the app features an interactive top-down view of the solar system, a calendar of celestial events and detailed catalogues of thousands of spatial goings on.

£3.99, Android

4. Nasa

A staple for space cowboys, the Nasa app will keep you in the know about everything from missions, news, and countdown clocks for launches. It's the best way possible to stay up to date with the world's space association.

Free, iOS, Android

5. Spot the Station

Not an app as such, but a free mobile service, Spot the Station gives you free text or email notifications whenever the International Space Station is visible. Bright enough to be seen even from a city, you'll always know when to look up.


6. Moon Atlas

With this remarkable app you'll realise the moon is much more than a smiling face made out of cheese. The app lets you use pinch and finger gestures to manipulate a 3D globe of the moon and see close up the detail and locations that exist on its surface.

£3.99, iOS

7. Sky Map

Works in much the same way as Pocket Universe, but for Android users. As well as providing a detailed, annotated window into the night sky, the "Time Travel" option lets you view the sky as it looked in the past and the future.

Free, Android

8. Solar Walk 3D

An award-winning app that lets you explore the solar system through detailed 3D models. A fantastic educational tool, the app allows you to navigate through space and time, see the planets close up, learn their history and much more.

£1.99, iOS

9. Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy

The perfect way to learn the night sky, simply hold your phone up and an annotated star map on your screen will display the view of the bit of sky you are looking at, naming constellations, planets and more. Trick your friends by saying it uses your phone's camera, but really it works with the built-in compass to establish the direction you're facing.

£1.99, iOS

10. Galaxy Collider

Control the entire universe (kind of), with this app that simulates the physics of interacting galaxies as well as computing the gravitational forces between stars. You can change the parameters of the simulation, testing out and visualising the infinite different interactions of galaxies.

£0.69, iOs

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