This app is a good tool for the amateur stargazer. With a swipe of the finger you can explore the nighttime sky that is right above your head. The program shows you where all of the constellations are and what planets are using your iPhone’s GPS function to pinpoint your exact location.
If you see too many or too little celestial bodies compared to what you view when you look up, you can adjust this by telling the app how much light pollution is in your area by using the preferences option. You can also touch “what’s up” to see the stars and planets without the labels. Once you know what you should be able to see, hold up your phone and you will know where to find them. If you turn the phone, the star map turns with it so that it always oriented in the proper direction.
There’s another way this app works well as a learning tool. Simply touch the constellation button at the bottom of the screen and you will get a list of all of them. Choose a name and up comes a detailed description of its location and how it got its name. Then touch find to see where it is on the star map. Alternately, pick “other” from the bottom of the screen and you get a list of galaxies and star clusters. Then navigate the entire sky by using your finger to move around the star map.
This app is an update of one of my favorite programs back in the ‘80s on the Commodore Amiga. It’s nice to see a it being created for the iPhone era with little extras that improve it. All in all this is a great educational app for anyone wanting to know more about the night sky.