Best Android Apps For Exploring Space
Since the ancient times, people have always been scared and fascinated by the unknown. That’s why they have been looking at the night sky and wanted to know more about it.
Thanks to the latest achievements in science and technology, today we can explore the outer space using spacecraft, satellites, and unmanned space vehicles. Fortunately, this information may be available for anyone interested in it.
Besides, there are a lot of mobile applications, providing us with an opportunity to become a bit closer to the mysterious universe. So, let us introduce you the list of free Android apps which are really worth checking out.
It goes without saying that the first app on this list should be the NASA App - an official service of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It’s packed with interesting space programs and missions, which will occupy you for a long time.
So, just sitting on the couch at home, you can stay updated about all the space news with to the daily info, photo, and video updates. It’s possible to stay tuned to the shuttle launches via a countdown clock or track the International Space Station’s orbit. If you find something worth sharing, you can easily do this via the integrated Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The huge image database consists of more than 15 thousand pictures and is growing constantly. Moreover, you can watch the live streaming of NASA TV and HD videos. Inside the app you’ll also find a satellite tracker on the interactive map as well as all the NASA visitor centers contact data.
And the Third Rock Radio station will make the exploring process even more pleasant.
If you aren’t an astronomer, you still can locate and identify the stars and constellations in the sky, because SkyView Free is right here to assist you in this task. It’s an intuitive app that works via your device’s camera.
SkyView Free offers the following features:
- Identifying the celestial bodies - planets, stars, constellations, galaxies - by day and night via simple pointing your smartphone’s camera at the sky;
- Watching the satellites’ pathway around the Earth;
- Travelling through the time to see the sky’s possible look in any date of the past or the future;
- Using the adjustable night vision modes with red and green filters;
- Taking cool images and sharing them with friends and followers on social media.
What is really cool is that you don’t need GPS or the Internet connection to do all these things. This means that the SkyView Free app may be easily used while travelling, camping, flying, and more.
Solar System Explorer Lite
However, if you’re not about actual raising your head up and staring at the sky, you may do this another way with Solar System Explorer 3D, which will provide you with an HD view of our native solar system. All the pictures are realistic, thanks to the NASA telescopes and satellites’ images and data.
All the app users are able to make a virtual and exciting space journey throughout the whole solar system. Due to the high-quality graphics and awesome music, the app allows you to feel like you’re really in the outer space.
The controls are intuitive and based on the simple taps. You may even become a pilot of a 3D spacecraft, taking all the flight controls. Besides, it’s a nice learning tool with the detailed info about everything you “visit”.
Meteor Shower Calendar
Who wouldn’t like to see the falling stars or - to be more precise - the meteor showers? Most likely, you won’t find such a person on the whole Earth. That’s why we suggest the next application will be interesting to discover.
We’re talking about Meteor Shower Calendar, which shows the approximate dates of the upcoming meteor showers and specifies their details. These are some more features:
- With this app, you won’t miss an opportunity to see a passing meteor again due to its notification system and the homescreen widget.
- You can view meteor showers sorted by their start, peak or ending dates.
- The Auto Theme feature automatically change one of the four available themes according to the part of the day.
- Share the meteor information with others, using social nets, email, or SMS.
- Be aware of the current Moon phase and the upcoming weather conditions to be ready.
Star Chart is a pocket planetarium of an advanced level, and it turns your smartphone into a window to the whole universe. Just point the phone at any part of the sky and get to know what you’re currently looking at, including the distance to the object, even if it’s a midday now.
Due to the accurate technology, Star Chart can show you the location of about 120 thousand stars, visible from the Earth. The constellation images are based on the 17th-century astronomer’s works.
In case you need to see the details, use your finger gestures and a powerful app’s zoom to see something more precise.
You may also use the team of your Android device and Sky Chart for watching what the other side of the Earth sees right now. To do this, you’ll need only to point the device down at the ground.
The app also supports voice commands in English for “looking at Andromeda”, “flying to the Moon”, and so on. Thanks to the nice 3D effects, these virtual tours become interesting.
What is more, the manual set of location allows to see how the sky looks from any place on the Earth, while using of the Time Shift option gives a chance to become a time traveler for more than 10 thousand years from now.
Night Sky Tools
The Night Sky Tools app is a bit different from all the aforementioned. It consists of various astronomical tools of a high accuracy to be applied by the amateur astronomers for different kinds of calculations: angular separation, magnitude, precession, atmospheric refraction, etc.
Except for a couple of tools, the majority of them doesn’t require any Internet connection at all, which is handy, actually.
At night, the phone’s display turns red automatically for better observations.
The Sky Map feature shows you the sky with all its stars, comets, constellations, meteor showers, and satellites, providing users with the detailed info about them. Besides, you’ll get the access to weather forecasts, daylight and Moon maps, Moon and Sun calendars, and more.
You can also save your observations within the application and share them via email or other apps.
In case you’re interested in such stuff, you may use the Astronomical Time in the form of a homescreen widget.
All these astronomical applications will provide you with the best user experience for gazing at the sky and getting to know more about its constituents.
Some of them are rather simple and allow to be satisfied with the limited set of functions only, while others are advanced and well-designed for the more profound space exploration. Choose the app you like most and enjoy your journey!