Astronomy concerns study of space, including the stars, moon, planets and galaxies. It is an important part of any earth science curriculum to learn about these topics and many people retain a deep interest in this particular branch of earth science long after they have left school. Space is a vast landscape that man has only begun to explore. There is far more we do not know about space than what we do know, and that is why scientists and researchers are continuously doing studies about the possibilities of space.
Technology has made the study of space much easier. Telescopes and computer tracking systems have allowed researchers to see planets and comets and other space related things that would have been impossible to witness merely a decade ago. One of the latest trends in technology are “apps” which now also offer ways to study and learn about stars…and several such apps are free!
There are several apps that help amateur astronomers see outer space more clearly. A recent New York Times article highlighted various apps for stargazing. Among those mentioned was the $5 “Starmap” that uses its GPS capabilities to calculate the sky above you and illustrate the position of the stars, moon, and planets in your exact location. This app also has the capabilities of letting the user zoom into something interesting and to simply tap on a feature (like the North Star) to find out more information about it.
For $2.99 “Pocket Universe” can be downloaded. This app allows users to take a virtual walk on the moon and partake in star quizzes. This app is particularly good for anyone who is trying to learn about stars or parents who are trying to get their children interested in space studies.
For those who like to get apps free of charge, “The Night Sky Lite” is free. This app also displays a map of the sky above the users head and offers the latest news about anything involving space (just like “The Mobile Astronomer” app). The app also gives you the option to “Share My Sky” and post screenshots of it on Facebook.
Google has a lot of free data about stars and the app “Star Map” uses this to its advantage. Anyone using this app can single out a specific star and then turn the phone until the targeted star has been found. This is a slightly simpler set up than the other apps, but it is good for beginners. “The Mobile Meteor Show Guide” is also an interesting app that focusing on meteors instead of stars and thus supplies users with even more information about outer space.
Over time space studies have become easier due to advances in technology. In fact, it was the genius of human engineering that allowed man to walk on the moon and space to be explored via shuttles. Currently virtually anyone can explore space via mobile devices and as the years’ progress and technology continues onward chances are excellent that interest in space will increase, not diminish. Apps such as these are a great way to get children (the next generation) hooked on all the “what ifs” that space offers.