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Apple Mackintosh App's

The Apple App store for the Mac has 21 Categories and more Apps appearing all the time so  we will not try to list them here. If you have a Mac you will know where to look! 

Apple iPhone and iPad App's

Where to start?  As of October 2012 there are 286 apps for the iPad and 531 for the iPhone that refer to astronomy.

What makes these devices so useful is the linking of location data built into GPS enabled devices with the accelerometer.   The devices know where you are (if you enable this) and the software writers can make use of this data to give you your window on the sky.

Two programs are our favourites.


The first is Redshift is a planetarium program.  Hold it up to the sky and with location enabled it gives you a faithful representation of the night sky from your location.  Tap an object and it will provide details of the object including its RA and Dec.  This is very useful with a telescope that asks for this detail.    Graphics depicting the night sky can be turned on or off to suit your audience.  A great trick is to show someone a group of stars and ask them to name the constellation.  It also has a 3D functions that enables you to move through the solar system and look back.  One feature of great use is the ability to shift time.  Scroll back or forward and you will see planets rising and setting an even predict where a planet was or will be.  A great tool to get to know the night sky.  It costs £7.




Sky Survey.

The second of our favorites is Sky Survey .  This is a new program and is based on the work of Nick Risinger who featured on the BBC Horizon program “How big is the Universe”.  Nick spent over a year with a bank of six camera photographing the night sky. He then complied one huge panorama and added links to data, if you tap on an object.  Nick wanted to create his own window on the Universe and he has certainly achieved that.  If your eyes had a sensitivity of about 3000 times what they have at night then this is what you would see.  It is an amazing piece of work and can be yours for £2.  If this does not wow you then nothing will.




Both Redshift and Sky Survey work on the iPad and iPhone.




The Local Group