11 Best apps to explore space on Android & iOS
Human dreams of conquering the cosmos and overcoming universal loneliness can never come true. The colonization of Mars is only planned for 2025.
Contact with the aliens has not yet taken place. The exit outside the solar system by Earth’s astronauts is still a matter of the distant future.
But with the help of modern technologies, we can still get closer to the starry sky. As it teased the imagination of our ancestors at the dawn of civilization.
How to properly observe the stars and planets? What you can learn about UFOs with the help of a tablet? How to help mankind in search of extraterrestrial civilizations?
You can get answers to these questions in the apps to explore space that are collected in this review.
This application is truly a unique find for those researchers who wanted to see space up close without getting up from the couch.
The main function of “SkyORB” is to give a user who wants to explore the endless outer space.
You will get the opportunity to look at the solar system in all its alluring splendor.
Just press the button and you will see the almost completely reliable model of the Solar System.
For example, the Earth, Venus, Mercury, satellites of planets, orbits of their rotation, a huge Sun and many asteroids.
And once you enter in the search engine name you need the space body. As you will immediately show its cosmic characteristics on the virtual model of the solar system.
But the set of functions “SkyORB” on this is not exhaustive – the application can show us a lot more interesting things.
For example, you can look at three-dimensional star charts with a variety of bizarre constellations. There are the actual map of the Earth and the sun clock and the weather.
Any cosmic gourmet will find a tool here to suit his taste. Someone will want to follow the change of lunar phases. Someone will want to look at the positions of comets and satellites.
And someone will want to get acquainted with ephemerides. And depending on your location, the results can be very different.
If you give the program access to determine your position on the world map, it will help to stimulate the sky as accurately as possible.
In general, “SkyORB” will be useful to anyone who is partial to the space theme.
You can also check: 11 Best space strategy games for Android & iOS
Galaxy on Fire 2
The simulator “Galaxy on Fire 2” offers everyone to plunge into the direct exploration of outer space. Explosive battles and a great story attached.
The main character – Kate Maxwell, a desperate adventurer, space Indiana Jones, adventurer, first-class pilot, and just a good man.
The action of the “Galaxy on Fire 2” game takes place in the world of the future, where there are several intelligent civilizations.
And it is impossible to say that the earthlings control absolutely everything – every piece of the Universe belongs to some faction.
Here, if you don’t know how to control a spaceship and take luck into your own hands – you are nothing. Luckily, Kate Maxwell can’t be called a loser – once you let him at the helm, the fun starts.
It’s rare in games to take over a real spaceship. This fact only spurred the desire to learn about “Galaxy on Fire 2”. This real space simulator with fierce firefights between aggressive aliens.
It is made to modern high standards of graphics, no one can leave indifferent. And no one obliges you to follow the standard game model. If you want – try to pass a fascinating and intriguing plot campaign.
If you want – go to conquer new worlds, if you want – buy up all the ships and equipment and create your own trading empire.
The framework of how you can turn around in space with a powerful ship and wit is limited only by your imagination.
For mobile platforms, “Galaxy on Fire 2” is simply a great game about space in its purest form.
But sometimes you still want to look at something closer to the planets of the solar system, which can be seen with the naked eye.
These are the stars in the sky, formed into interesting drawings.
And the “Star Walk” application is ready to give us detailed information about everything that is located in the sky and can be accessed by the human eye.
To immerse yourself in a space session all you need is an Internet connection. Turn on permission for the application to determine your location.
After these procedures, simply lift your mobile device up with the camera and you will see a full picture of the starry sky, no matter what time of day it is. Even though it’s a dark night, even on a clear day.
By moving the device, you can change the field of view of the celestial bodies for yourself and look at them from a different angle.
Each constellation known to mankind today has its own signature, thanks to which it is easier to find and distinguish it from the total number.
When you point the camera precisely at the constellation, you can see a picture depicting its name. For example, “Crow”, “Bowl”, “Hare”.
All the constellations will come to life before your eyes. And if you want to know more about any celestial body, just touch it.
Details about a constellation, individual star, planet or satellite will appear on the screen. As soon as you need to urgently find a specific element on a celestial map, use the search.
Simply type the name of the celestial body into the input box and it will immediately take you to the celestial body.
And here you can also see a calendar for all the planets, their characteristics, the current date of today, a gallery of photographs.
There’s plenty of possibilities for everyone.
It is an official application of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA.
A large database of constantly updated images and videos from space.
It has various news, reports on missile launches, detailed information about current NASA projects.
As well as HD broadcasting from ISS in real-time. Any of the pictures in the program can be sent to a friend, saved or installed as a screensaver.
There is an online radio with round the clock broadcasting and programs about space. Also in the NASA application, you can track the location of ISS.
Not to notice the station is difficult, you just need to know where and at what time to look.
Angry Birds Space
In general, for some space – just boring scientific matter.
It is suitable only for study, and for others – inexhaustible opportunities to create interesting space games.
The next game from the “Angry Birds Space” series is a perfect example.
Here the birds go into space through a portal and get special superpowers that will help them in the fight against pigs.
The main gameplay canvas remains the same as in the original game. A powerful slingshot is given to you for personal use. Birds act as shells here, so you can be angry that their eggs have been stolen.
You will have to help the birds return what they stole by launching cosmically cool birds from the slingshot.
In doing so, you’ll have to arrange for as much destruction as possible. And all this against the backdrop of space.
“Angry Birds Space will use the space environment to its largest. All the gameplay here is somehow connected to space.
For example, each planet has its own atmosphere, changing the gravity and, so, the trajectory of the bird’s flight. And the birds themselves have evolved into much stronger characters.
So, the yellow bird turned purple and got the ability to change its course after launch. The red and blue birds had space masks.
Besides, it is in “Angry Birds Space” you can find a special ice bird freezing everything around.
To conquer all the planets, return the eggs and make the pigs fall down, you will have to sweat and move their brains. The levels of Angry Birds Space are quite complex.
But the very attractive atmosphere of space and fascinating gameplay will make you sit for “Angry Birds Space” more than one day.
Star Chart is used by more than 15 million people, which makes it one of the most popular astronomy applications on mobile devices.
Cool AR feature – point your smartphone camera at an object in the sky. So, the program will tell you what you are looking at.
But, almost all popular Astro applications have this feature.
This app contains data on meteor showers, comets, satellites, including 5,000 visible stars of two hemispheres.
And another 120,000 other stars. It displays 88 constellations, all planets in the solar system, and allows “time travel” by moving the map 10,000 years forward or backward in time.
You can also change your location to see the night sky from other points on Earth. The application is free but contains an internal shop.
There you can buy advanced star catalogs, meteor currents, comets and so on.
Star Chart stands out from the crowd with its great user interface.
The principle is already familiar to you – point your smartphone to the sky. Then StarTracker will begin to explain everything incomprehensible.
For this purpose, it has data on the solar system, 88 constellations and more than 8,000 visible stars to the naked eye.
The program is conditional, there is a paid Pro version with extra information on objects.
Using the zoom-in StarTracker, you can search for certain stars or constellations. But to search for celestial objects by name, activate the “Time Machine” function.
Then, view more detailed illustrations of constellations you need to switch to the paid version. There is also a version for VR.
In the catalog of the program detailed three-dimensional images of the planets of our solar system.
There are data on all 88 constellations with magnificent illustrations from the atlas of the Polish astronomer.
The annex includes a complete catalog of 110 exotic astronomical objects. This includes various galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.
Finally, in the Star Chart base all the visible stars of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, which number more than 120 thousand units.
If in the second half of this article you like some paid program, but you don’t want to spend money on it, then come back here.
Free mobile planetarium SkyPortal contains all the necessary information on 120 000 stars.
There are more than 200-star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, dozens of asteroids, comets and satellites, including the ISS.
The application also works with a telescope, allows you to point it at any object in the database and view it in greater detail.
For the most popular objects, you can view astrophotos or even listen to audio descriptions. SkyPortal lets you change the night sky 100 years forward or backward (Time Machine feature).
You can also watch the stars from anywhere on Earth. The application determines the ideal time and place to observe various objects and events in the solar system.
It will show you, for example, when to watch the Big Red Blur of Jupiter or “catch” the ISS.
Sky Portal also uses augmented reality technology. It shows you a three-dimensional simulation of the starry sky tied to where you are observing from.
That is, unlike most other similar apps, daylight does not prevent you from seeing constellations hidden from the naked eye.
If you want to know about planets located outside the solar system, you can use the Exoplanet application.
It is a program dedicated to exoplanets that are part of other star systems in the Milky Way galaxy.
It’s especially valuable because it’s regularly updated. It includes all the latest and confirmed discoveries.
The app is written by professional astronomer Hanno Rhine.
So you don’t have to worry about the accuracy and accuracy of all the data. And over 10 million downloads are more than proof of the quality of this program.
Exoplanet has many different renderings and animations, a three-dimensional model of the Milky Way.
There’s also an Augmented Reality Class map that lets you explore the starry sky by pointing a smartphone or tablet camera at it and moving it.
There is also a whole set of other features that will surely be appreciated by advanced amateurs.
The application is very impressive and contains a lot of information.
Contrary to its name, SkyWiki is not just a reference book. It is a very powerful educational application with many interesting features.
For example, it has a map of the starry sky with geolocation and time of day.
The map can display the current location of stars and constellations above your head, or show how it will be at a given time.
Also, the application has a calendar of astronomical events, news feeds from the world of astronomy. The “Periscope” function is interesting.
It allows you to track the exact time of sunrise and sunset, the phase and light of the moon, the visibility and location of the planets. In general, it is an indispensable helper for astronomy enthusiasts.
Besides, it is a navigator through the starry sky using augmented reality. After launch, you need to specify your location or let the application determine it by GPS.
Then you have two options – explore the sky with a compass and a pre-defined map, or use a camera and point to real stars above your head.
If you point the “sight” at a star, you will see its name and the path it follows through the sky. The application also automatically displays the constellations.
This is probably the best option for people who do not want to go into astronomical mazes. But simply prefer to watch the stars under the pleasant unobtrusive soundtrack.
The application uses a detailed simulation of the lunar surface, created by the lunar mission NASA. Basically, it serves to determine what phase the Earth’s satellite is in now.
It also has a calendar that allows you to view the phase of the moon for any future or past date.
The function of the lunar atlas allows you to study the location of seas, craters and landing sites of lunar missions in the past.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful features is the live moon widget, which can be displayed on the main screen.
It looks great against the background of space or sky wallpaper. And, despite its interactivity, it has almost no impact on smartphone battery consumption.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
The application Astronomy Picture of the Day was developed together with the American space agency NASA.
It uses many great high-resolution photos from space exploration.
Astronomy Picture of the Day is actually just a client for NASA’s giant photo album available on the Internet.
All photos have short annotations, it is possible to search for photos by date or go to a random image.
And although this is not an application, we decided to include it in our review. A true astronomy enthusiast will never refuse to admire such unique views of the world around us.
Among the unusual features of Star Chart worth mentioning is the ability to go back in time to 10,000 years ago. You can also see how the starry sky looked in that distant era.
To access the time shift function, click on the current time, year or date in the upper right corner of the application. A slider will appear on the screen and you can quickly return to the desired date.
You can return to the current date by touching the word “Now” in the left corner of the screen. You can also travel to the future in a similar way.
If you want to find a specific event, it is better to use the calendar of eclipses, phases of the moon and other important dates.
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