Stargazer? Boy is there an app for you.

If you’re a fan of the stars then you’ll want to check out Google’s Sky Map for Android.

Self-described as a “window to the night sky,” this app does a great job of rolling together a telescope, the Hayden Planetarium, and your phone into one. Just launch the app and instantly your phone kicks into a kind of telescope-mode with six visible layers of astral information. A handy dis/enable feature allows you to view any combination the Stars, Constellations, Messier Objects, Planets, RA/Dec Grid, and Horizon layers.

Curious as to what stars are directly above you? Just point your phone towards the sky and voila! The app tells you. Feel dizzy as the stars whirl around your screen? Switch from automatic to manual mode and better control the view. A great zoom feature enabled me to enlarge Jupiter to about the size of a quarter on the my homescreen. Sure enough there it was in all its beige, brown and orange-striped glory. Wild.

While astronomy was one of my most painful subjects in college, Google Sky Map excels in bringing you the subject in a fun and interactive way. Enjoy!

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One Response to “Stargazer? Boy is there an app for you.”

  1. CraftLass says:

    As someone trying to be an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, this app has been ridiculously handy. While I know a lot of the stars and where to find them there always seems to be some object I’m curious about. Also, it has been the perfect aid for finding the right spot in the sky to look for meteor showers. I didn’t know all of these features, though, this review showed me I need to poke around more in it, so thanks!

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