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I love an app so as a beginner stargazer I thought I’d get an app for my iPhone to help me identify and navigate my way around the sky. There are so many to choose from though and it’ll take ages to evaluate them to sort out which are the best.

Are there one or two apps that people on here recommend?

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That's a bit prescriptive in my view. Fortunately, we don't have eligibility tests for membership of the great club of amateur astronomers, so not knowing where (for example) Draco starts and end

In my view SkySafari Plus is hard to beat, especially when bought on offer. There are plenty of benefits over the standard free app, such as the ability to fine tune visibility of stars and DSOs

I've just bought the sky safari 6 Pro app for £19 got to get used to it now ftom using stellarium on my phone, but looking good so far 👍

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I use the sky portal by Celestron app which is powered by sky safari but free. 
does anyone know the differences between the two apps and is it worth paying and changing to sky safari. 
thanks. 

Edited by tea_subtle
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3 minutes ago, tea_subtle said:

I use the sky portal by Celestron app which is powered by sky safari but free. 
does anyone know the differences between the two apps and is it worth paying and changing to sky safari. 
thanks. 

There is a free version of SkySafari. The Plus and Pro versions cost, though. They are often on special offer - so don't pay full price for them.

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I know a lot of people like Sky Safari, but I think it's worth also suggesting Stellarium. 

I have both - and although Sky Safari has a lot more information within it, I find that Stellarium is the one I always go to first. 

I think there are free versions of both (or at least, there are free versions on Android), so it might be worth getting each to see which you prefer 

 

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2 minutes ago, Pixies said:

There is a free version of SkySafari. The Plus and Pro versions cost, though. They are often on special offer - so don't pay full price for them.

Will keep an eye out. Thanks. 

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Skyview if you want something that lets you just wave your phone at the sky. You can’t zoom in though which can be annoying. There is a free version to which just has slightly less objects in the search.

Stellarium+ also does that to a slightly worse extent but has lots more information and is zoomable / scrollable.

Tried Sky Safari as everyone seems to use it but not really impressed with it so far compared to the other two (and its more expensive I think). It might just be I need to sit with it and play with it which is what I found with Stellarium+ as I didnt get on with that at first.

Beyond that ScopeNights and ClearOutside are useful for weather.

Edited by wibblefish
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No-one's mentioned Skeye yet so I will. I have Stellarium on the laptop and it's excellent but the phone app annoys me by mithering for purchases. Tried a couple of others and wasn't very happy with them but Skeye I do like. You can also use it for "push-to" but I haven't yet delved far enough into it to see how well that works. My only minor criticism is that (on my phone at least) Skeye isn't easy to read in night-mode, the text is a bit small (might be adjustable, I haven't found out if it is yet). I observe without glasses but need them for reading, so it's a constant annoyance not to drop/lose them and keep putting them on & off. However, that's not the app's fault.

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38 minutes ago, wulfrun said:

No-one's mentioned Skeye yet so I will

I suspect because the OP is not using Android. I am also a fan of SkEye but I also dip into Stellarium but much prefer the "grown up" version on my desktop.

As for Apple, I have an iPad but I'm too tight to splash out. Android has spoilt me 🙂

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58 minutes ago, Spile said:

I suspect because the OP is not using Android. I am also a fan of SkEye but I also dip into Stellarium but much prefer the "grown up" version on my desktop.

As for Apple, I have an iPad but I'm too tight to splash out. Android has spoilt me 🙂

Aha, my fault for not realising it's Android only then, I wasn't aware of that.

Edited by wulfrun
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Yes, I'm an Apple user not Android.

Looks like Sky Safari is the popular choice. I think I'll audition the free versions of Sky Safari and Stellarium and wait for a discount before committing to a purchase.

Thanks all for your replies.

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In my view SkySafari Plus is hard to beat, especially when bought on offer.

There are plenty of benefits over the standard free app, such as the ability to fine tune visibility of stars and DSOs to match your eyepiece view, change orientation and also to input your kit so you can easily set up field of view circles for any combination of eyepiece, scope, barlow and even camera. It also calculates magnification and exit pupil for you too.

The databases are bigger too, and you can add more (at a cost) if needed.

Also, features like observing lists and planning are very handy, and being able to highlight all those targets in a list on the map is really useful, in this instance, carbon stars.

 

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29 minutes ago, amaury said:

Sorry to deviate a bit (still relevant to the topic discussed here), do people use planispheres anymore at all?

I do - and I recommend them to people who are just starting out, as I don't think there's a better way of showing how the constellations join up with each other - nor how the night changes from hour to hour and from month to month. 

The Philips 12" ones are also useful to users who are trying to find the names of the brighter stars that are suggested for 2 or 3 star alignments. Again, particularly for newcomers to the pastime.  Sometimes it's hard to remember which is Castor and which Pollux for example :)

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I have both Sky Safari Pro and Luminos. Luminos has better rendering, however I do like in Sky Safari you can download a tour and then use goto on a mount to visit the targets in the list.

Luminos is good in that it's a pay once fee and the developers are quite responsive.

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Also I believe the transits of Io are calculated correctly in Luminos whereas they where out in Sky Safari.

Edited by Deadlake
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1 hour ago, amaury said:

Sorry to deviate a bit (still relevant to the topic discussed here), do people use planispheres anymore at all?

I had to look up what one of those was but it looks brilliant! Even better than an app!

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3 hours ago, amaury said:

Sorry to deviate a bit (still relevant to the topic discussed here), do people use planispheres anymore at all?

I use one, although the glasses on/glasses off gets tedious. Excellent for a quick check of what's where before heading outdoors, at the least.

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On 06/04/2021 at 14:05, amaury said:

Sorry to deviate a bit (still relevant to the topic discussed here), do people use planispheres anymore at all?

Yes I still have mine from 1970 and I haven't rebooted it once.

Edited by Spile
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43 minutes ago, Spile said:

Yes I still have mine from 1970 and I haven't to reboot it once.

Mine is still on its original set of batteries.

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Not always obvious to newbies, but a planisphere is easiest to use by aligning it with the sky by holding it over your head so E/W/N/S on it align with those of the sky instead of two being flipped.

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