Win iPhone App for Observing: TeleCalc

Screenshot from 'TeleCalc'


There’s a new observing app for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, called TeleCalc. Enter in two data points about your telescope (aperture and focal ratio) and two about the eyepiece (focal length and diameter) the program calculates angular field of view, best eyepiece magnification, resolution (Dawes, Rayleight), exit pupil, limiting stellar magnitude and light gathering power.

TeleCalc is available in eight languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese. Search “TeleCalc” in iTunes to download it or find it on the iTunes store.

Thanks to developer Fabio Rendelucci who has given Universe Today 3 free TeleCalc apps to give away.

The first 3 people to answer the following question will be sent a code for a free TeleCalc app:

To find the magnifying power of any telescope, divide the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the what other telescope piece?

Submit your answers in the “Comments”

Also, if you’re looking for more, take a look at all the apps that NASA has available for both iPhone and Android.

Contest: Win New iPhone/iPad Lunar Calculator App

Screenshots of the LunarCal App


Love observing the Moon? There’s a new iPhone, iPod and iPad app that will provide everything you need to know. LunarCalc shows moon phases from any date between the years 1900 and 2200. It also provides ecliptic latitude and longitude, zodiacal position, distance from Earth, and apogee and perigee dates. The iPad version also provides moonrise, moonset and culmination, percent illuminated and lunation period.

LunarCalc is available in eight languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.

Courtesy of the app’s creator, Fabio Rendelucci, Universe Today has 3 LunarCalc apps to giveaway. The first three correct answers to the following question will win. Post your answer in the comment section.

Question: When will the next total lunar eclipse take place?

To find out more or to buy the app, search “LunarCalc” in iTunes to download it.

Contest: Win “Wonders of the Solar System” DVD

If you didn’t have the chance to see Brian Cox’s series “Wonders of the Solar System” which aired on the BBC earlier this year and the Science Channel in August, we’ve got some good news for you: it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in the US on September 7. But there’s even better news for readers of Universe Today: We have five – count ‘em – five copies to give away, courtesy of the BBC and Bender Helper Impact marketing agency. “Wonders” is an extraordinary look at our world and solar system, and is rich with breathtaking images beamed back from the fleet of probes, rovers and telescopes currently in space, and is a “must-see” for any space and astronomy enthusiast.

To enter the contest, send an email to [email protected] with “Wonders DVD” in the subject line. Deadline for entry is Wednesday, September 8 at 12 pm PDT. Winners will have their choice of “Wonders” on DVD or Blu-ray.

See more info below about this remarkable series, including a video trailer that will give a taste of this great series.

Wonders of the Solar System” is a 3-disc set, and the series is presented by renowned physicist Brian Cox who will explore some of the most amazing features of our planet’s own backyard. Witness how forces of nature carved out beauty and order from the chaos of space and learn how our home planet is not isolated, but intimately connected with the rest of the solar system. Using the latest scientific knowledge, state of the art CGI, along with stunning images paired up with some of the most spectacular, extreme locations on Earth to help reveal wonders never thought possible. Included are two bonus programs, “What on Earth Is Wrong with Gravity?” and “Do You Know What Time It Is?”

See more about “Wonders” or you can put in an order to purchase on Amazon.

Contest: Win “The Universe: Our Solar System” in Blu-ray

A new giveaway opportunity! This time it is the Blu-ray edition of The Universe: Our Solar System.

The Blu-ray edition of the History Channel’s The Universe consists of 10 episodes from the first season, and uses cutting-edge computer-generated imagery to bring distant planets and faraway stars up close. We’ve long been fascinated with the sky and outerspace, and in this series, history and science collide to investigate all we know about the Universe.

To win, send an email to [email protected] with “Solar System” in the subject line. Fraser will randomly pick one email as the winner. Deadline is Monday, August 30 at 12 pm PDT.

Find out about The Universe: Our Solar System at this link.

And by the way, the winner of the new book about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, “The Grand and Bold Thing” by Ann Finkbeiner, was Irfaan Hamdulay from Cape Town, South Africa. Congrats!

This is a two-disc set:

DISC 1: Secrets of the Sun / Mars: The Red Planet / The End of the Earth: Deep Space Threats To Our Planet / Jupiter: The Giant Planet / The Moon

DISC 2: Spaceship Earth / The Inner Planets: Mercury & Venus / Saturn: Lord of the Rings / Alien Galaxies / Life and Death of a Star

In this series you can witness the sun’s birth at the dawn of our solar system, and its death, billions of years in the future; explore the possibility of a human settlement on Mars; and learn about the devastating threats posed by the meteorites, comets, and asteroids that routinely collide with Earth.

Each of the 44-minute episodes begins with a general introduction of subjects ranging from the sun to individual planets. Each topic is then broken down into a series of segments that detail specific ideas, theories, or components integral to the understanding of the main topic as well as historical material, current studies and theories, and projections of potential future events and scientific advances.

Contest: Win New Book About the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

UPDATE: The winner of the book is Irfaan Hamdulay from Cape Town, South Africa. Congrats!

A new giveaway for Universe Today readers! We’ve just reviewed a new book about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey called “A Grand and Bold Thing” by Ann Finkbeiner. It’s a great read about a great and visionary project — so how would you like to have your very own copy? Just send an email to Universe Today with “SDSS” in the subject line, and we’ll choose a winner. Deadline for entry is Monday, August 23, 2010 at 12 noon PDT.

By the way, we want to congratulate the winner of the Lunar Science Swag, Jesse Rogerson from Ontario, Canada!

Contest: Win Lunar Science Swag!

Win a bag of goodies from NLSI!


I attended the NASA Lunar Science Institute’s Annual Lunar Forum last week, and the wonderful people from NLSI provided a very cool bag of goodies — including a great backpack/bag with the NLSI logo, a bookmark, luggage nametag, lanyard (including an official PRESS badge!), stickers and other informational handouts. We’re giving this prize package away to one of our readers! Just send an email to [email protected]
and put “Lunar Science” in the subject line. We’ll do a random pick from all the emails we get. Submit an email by Monday, August 2 at 12:00pm PDT.