Astronomy used to be a rather expensive hobby once in a while, which requires telescopes and other equipment. However, this is not quite the case anymore.
With smartphones it is as smart as they are now, all you need is apps that will transform your phone into a mobile observatory. Here is our overview of the top 10 astronomy apps for Android.
1. Sky Safari
Sky Safari will not only help you become a better equipped astronomy fan, but just lie down, relax and watch the stars, with features such as calming background music, for example.
It is equipped with a powerful search, which can help you find any celestial body you are looking for. There is also a dedicated event section, as well as a vivid view of the sky moving as you move your phone, by location and compass.
Buying apps is available to unlock more features, such as multiple objects and perspectives.
Download: Sky Safari for Android | iOS (free, in-app purchases available)
2. Star Walk 2
Star Walk 2 is one of the most aesthetically pleasing astronomy apps out there. The app opens with a beautiful, vibrant view of the sky, reflecting your current position. Live view also has nice soothing background music.
You can tap objects you see in living sky for a brief description, as well as a detailed picture of the object. The search function is also great and the voice search works perfectly. However, the best feature of Star Walk 2 is the time controller that lets you slide through the time and see how the objects move.
Buying in apps lets you unlock more celestial objects, as well as remove the ads from the free version. Alternatively, you can only buy the paid version of Star Walk 2.
Download: Star Walk 2 Free for Android | IOS (Free, purchase of apps available)
Download: Star Walk 2 for Android | iOS ($ 2.99)
3. Star charts
Star charts give you three different modes. The first is the standard sky unit. Second, you get an exploration mode that lets you wander over the solar system. The third mode is called "Moments in Time," which allows you to take a virtual look at important past events in astronomy.
The default app has all the basic features you need, including a settings panel that lets you customize the view of the sky. Star Chart also packs in some serious extensibility, giving you many buying opportunities in the app to add more to your stargazing experience.
Download: Star chart for Android | IOS (Free, Purchase apps available)
If you want to expand the horizons of your astronomy hobby by doing some more background research, check out these amazing astronomy sites.
4. Sky Map
Sky Map is exactly what it sounds like. It is a no frills map of the sky. Sky Map is simple and reliable and is meant for astronomy enthusiasts who just need a simple guide to the night sky.
You can select and deselect the categories of objects you want to appear on the map. Live view can be set to automatic, which moves as you move the device, or manual, which requires the user to navigate it.
It is also a straightforward time travel function that will see how the sky looked at a particular date and time. Sky Map was originally developed by Google but is now donated and opened.
Download: Sky Map for Android (Free)
5. Stellarium Mobile
If you've been interested in astronomy for a while, you definitely need to hear about Stellarium. Stellarium Mobile brings the essence of Stellarium's very popular desktop version to the phone.
Stellarium Mobile gives you a heaven view with opportunities to choose what is shown in the sky. You can also choose to emulate different landscapes, which adds some virtual reality flavor to the app.
Download: Stellarium Mobile for Android ($ 2.49)
Download: Stellarium Mobile for iOS $ 2.99
6. Solar Walk 2
Solar Walk 2 is an astronomy program that is about sun and solar system. Created by the developers of Sky Walk 2, this app shows you the night sky through the perspective of our place in it.
Perhaps the best feature of Solar Walk 2 is the timeline, which you can use to travel to see how celestial objects move over time. The paid version of the app also comes with a horde of other celestial objects to look at.
Download: Solar Walk 2 Free for Android | IOS (Free, Purchase apps available)
Download: Solar Walk 2 for Android | IOS ($ 2.99)
If you want a deeper insight into the outer space, check out these free online space telescopes.
7. Mobile Observatory 2
Mobile Observatory is not the finest-looking app on this list, but it is something that all serious astronomy enthusiasts need to have. This astronomy program comes with many features, allowing the not so fancy user interface.
Mobile Observatory comes with various sky views, a dedicated solar system view and various sections dedicated to objects, including sun and moon. Not only that, there are also sections for eclipses and events. The app is paid but is updated quite regularly.
Download: Mobile Observatory 2 for Android ($ 4.49)
8. Sky View Free
Sky View Free is a unique astronomy app. Its primary feature of the sky view is similar to other apps on this list at first glance . But Sky View has an enlarged reality (AR) mode for this view, which lets you point the camera to the sky and identify sky objects in the app.
Sky View Free also has the ability to let you see traces of objects, take snaps of your current view, and check sky view by date and time.
Download: Sky View Free for Android | iOS (free)
9. Star Tracker
If you want a basic sky view that moves through the sky, Star Tracker is the way to go. Star Tracker is pretty basic, but for some astronomy enthusiasts it may be all they need.
The key highlight of this app is the zoom feature, which will automatically zoom in on the celestial object on which the screen is pointing, giving you a disappointing experience.
Download: Star Tracker for Android | iOS (free, premium version available)
SkyWiki is an astronomy app that acts as an astronomical mini-acyclopedia. You get a sky map with the ability to change the speed of time, pause it and print the current version of the sky map.
However, not everything is. SkyWiki is also equipped with a periscope section, which provides detailed insight into the current sky test positioning. In addition, there are sections for heavenly events and news, making SkyWiki a must-have guide for any astronomy enthusiast.
Download: SkyWiki for Android (free)
More ways to explore Space
Astronomy programs do not require much when it comes to smartphone specifications, other than compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and so on. Although not a few years ago, these features are now standard, even in budget smartphones. So, a smartphone is all you need!
If you want to see the cosmos closer, look at these sites to see and download space images.
Explore more about: Android Apps, Astronomy, IOS Apps, Space.