Have you ever looked at the night sky and wondered, “what is that?”
A planet? A star? A UFO?
Star Chart can help you with the conundrum — although it might not provide the answers Fox Mulder is searching for. The app uses augmented reality to show you the location of constellations, stars, planets and moons. It’s sort of like having a planetarium in your pocket.
Star Chart, which is in use by over 20 million people worldwide according to its developers, can be used during the day or evening, and is powered by GPS technology paired with a 3D simulation of the visible universe.
Navigation is fairly simple. Once you’ve entered your location, you can either point it at the sky, or use your fingers to pinch and scroll. There’s also the option of searching for particular night sky objects, though you’ll have to pay more for things like satellites and meteor showers, and there are also beautifully animated ‘tours’ that let you explore specific planets.
Additionally, constellations are depicted with 17th-century artwork, making the full-colour app an aesthetic treat.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of this delightful astronomy app, however, is how quickly it loads and how small it is, taking up less than 30MB on an iPhone and about 48MB on Android.
The app is freely available for all your astronomical queries on the App Store and on Google Play.