Twinkle, twinkle, little star…
Free (Premium subs: $1.99/mo, $9.99/yr) From iCandi, icandiapps.com Made for iPad, iPhone, watchOS, Apple TV Needs iOS 9.3 or later
Night Sky enables you to view constellations of stars and planets – not to mention satellites – on your iPhone or iPad, in real time. Hold your device up to the sky and the app tells you exactly what you’re looking at. An augmented reality view overlays the constellations, planets, and names on the view from your iPhone’s camera. You can, of course, pan and zoom to see more or less detail as you gaze.
There’s a great deal more to Night Sky than that, however. Version 4.4 brings several new features including a World Traveler mode. This allows you to choose any location on the planet and explore the sky from that area. There’s information on light pollution and stargazing conditions, as well as rise and set times for the sun and moon.
Also new in 4.4 is VoiceOver support, and a section that provides detailed information on the 2017 US solar eclipse, showing the event from different locations complete with timings.
Night Sky also has an astro-photography tool that provides you with camera settings designed to get the best possible shot of whatever you’re trying to photograph in the sky, from a bright constellation to a single planet. Bear in mind, though, it’s not going to work miracles.
A couple of features are only accessible with a monthly subscription. The first of them enables you to tour the moonlanding sites recreated from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 15 missions. The other premium feature is Night Sky Tonight, an animated view of the sky above you from sunset to sunrise the following morning. We wish it were possible to view this full-screen, though.
The wealth of data and information that’s available in Night Sky is incredible – everything you could want to know about every satellite, constellation, and planet is here. Apple TV and Watch apps are included, the latter using Series 2’s GPS and gyroscope to enable identification of things in the sky by raising your wrist.
The Bottom Line. Whether you’re an astronomy geek or have just a passing interest, Night Sky is a fascinating joy.
The detail available on every constellation, like this entry for Leo, is incredible.
World Traveler mode lets you see the sky from anywhere on the planet.