Want Astronomy Apps? There’s a Catalog for That

by Nancy Atkinson on December 29, 2011

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

Screenshot of the Distant Suns version 3.

With the plethora of mobile apps now available for astronomy applications, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Thanks to astronomer Andy Fraknoi and the American Astronomical Society there’s now a catalog for that. “This catalog is a first attempt to make a list of those of particular interest to astronomy educators,” wrote Fraknoi.

The catalog, published by the Astronomy Education Review, includes a short description and reviews of some — but not all — the apps to help people distinguish which app will best cover their needs. However, “the number of apps is fast outpacing the ability of reviewers to keep up,” Fraknoi said, adding that suggestions and additions for this catalog are most welcome.

Click here to access the app catalog.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Anonymous December 29, 2011 at 11:45 PM

My favourite astronomy stoftware are Astrograv, Celestia, Orbiter 2010 and Starry Night.
I also like the Universe Sandbox (visually and cheap), but Astrograv seems to be more accurate and has this nice import of most solar objects.

On my iPhod is Star Walk and Starmap Pro my as most used astronomy software.

Keith Yohn December 30, 2011 at 1:36 AM

Personally i have quite a few astronomy apps on my iPhone and iPad. To name a few: Exoplanet, Kepler Candidates (Both great apps for exoplanet news), SkySafari 3, APOD, NASA, and iCSC.

I would be remiss not to mention my own astronomy iPhone app. It is a free app called “Comet – Comet Ephemerides”. It allows you to calculate the ephemeris of all the visible comets based on the orbital elements available on the Minor Planet Center website. I didn’t see anywhere in the article or the linked website to make suggestions to add to the catalog. How can one make a suggestion?


Anonymous December 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

After a bit of searching I found his blog, where he has written a post about the catalogue. I suppose you could comment on that post – I’m sure he’d see it. No email address though, for all my googling.

Anonymous December 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

What I’d quite like is an (android) app that provides a calendar of nightsky events for my location. This site seems to have a rather comprehensive calendar but it’s not very well-formatting for a smartphone and I can’t plug my location into it :P

Hein Du Plessis December 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Mobile observatory does just that and a lot more.

Anonymous December 31, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Awesome, thanks!

Hein Du Plessis December 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Kind of useless to me since it does not specify for which OS the app is?? One will have to go to every single app’s web site and see.

Anonymous December 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM

The clue’s in the link – itunes.apple.com or market.android.com

Stou Sandalski January 1, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Useless really? Look at the url they provide. If it starts with `itunes.apple` it’s going to be for iOS. If it starts with `market.android` it’s for you know… Android. If it’s something else it’s probably either for all three, or just a mobile website.

It would have been nice if they listed them under sections specific to Android, iOS, and Windows but the catalog is very far from useless.

Tim Murphy December 30, 2011 at 4:34 PM

FYI, There are a number of Astronomy apps for the Winodws Phone 7 as well including:

Stars 3D
Astronomy Hub
Look Up Tonight
Delux Moon

and many others

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: