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Google Sky Map - any good?


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I've got google sky map on an android...excellent.

Google Sky Map

Some functions depend on what things like gps/compass are on your particular phone.

On a HTC Desire the program is pretty quick, though aiming is an acquired art - you couldn't use this instead of a finder but more of a portable Stellarium, as it all depends on what angle you hold the phone and how good it senses you turning it etc.

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Its available on any 'Android' phone, i have the HTC Hero.

It works using gps and basicaly, you point your phone at the sky (day or night) and it tells you whats there all in real time.

It has some cool features like night profile, which puts it all in red so no damage to night vision. You can edit the constellations, planets and the horizon and cardinal points.

I suppose it is very similar to stellarium, but you manually move the phone to see whats behind it rather than use arrow keys.



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I wonder whether a car phone mount would enable you to mount your phone alongside your finder so you have hands free ?

You could use a piece of metal to create two spurs off the finder mounting hole, keep the finder on one side, and another metal bracket to mount the phone swivel on

Or use a Telrad and mount just the phoneholder.

Or use a separte tube mount and use the mount fixing on that?

So many mounting possibilities.

Thinking about it, the search function could also act as a poor man's Goto.

Edited by cootuk
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Hi All,

I'm one of the engineers at Google who created Sky Map. Thanks for your kind comments about it - I'm glad you enjoy using it. Just to set some expectations though - the compasses in most phones are supposedly rated to about 5 degrees. However, I've seen many (perhaps defective ones) that are worse and many that are much better. I don't think the app could really substitute for a finder scope, but I'd be interested to hear if you have any success. One thing to note - the compass will be affected by any metal fittings you use.

Regarding Stellarium - it's probably overselling Sky Map to say it's a portable Stellarium. Stellarium is a much more capable general astronomy application: we intend it to be an easy-to-use yet relatively basic map of the sky you can use to identify stars and planets.

Best wishes,


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I was going to put a phone mount on a separate scope cradel, but found a better way.

The phone doesn't track in auto mode, so set to manual.



Edited by cootuk
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I bought one of the SnS Astroboot Meade ota mount cradles - they have four holes in the base. I then drilled a couple of holes in the phone holder suction mount bit and bolted it on. The cradle is now mounted on the tube so it's in more of a direct line.

Undoing one holder elbow bolt means I can have it in either position.


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