Astro Apps

Citizen Science - Loss of the Night App

I am planning to obtain a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter, but in the meantime I have found a new Citizen Science Project, the Loss of the Night App. I took it out tonight and although the moon is out and conditions are not suitable for submitting observations tonight, the app tells the user the date the next usable data can be obtained, which for me is August 20th.

From my limited trial, it appears Citizen Scientists identify the stars visible using the app., and no Astronomical knowledge is necessary. This app is an extension of the Globe at Night Project. The webpage states:

If the Christmas story were set in the modern era, you might expect that the three wise men would need to rely on their GPS whenever they came into a town. But in fact, some stars can still be seen in even in the most brightly lit cities, and researchers of the German interdisciplinary project “Verlust der Nacht” are asking citizen scientists to count them. The scientists developed the “Loss of the Night app” to quantify the illumination of the night sky caused by artificial light. The app, originally available in only German and English, has now been expanded to support 11 languages in order to get data from as many regions as possible.

The webpage also explains the goal of the researchers:

If the Christmas story were set in the modern era, you might expect that the three wise men would need to rely on their GPS whenever they came into a town. But in fact, some stars can still be seen in even in the most brightly lit cities, and researchers of the German interdisciplinary project “Verlust der Nacht” are asking citizen scientists to count them. The scientists developed the “Loss of the Night app” to quantify the illumination of the night sky caused by artificial light. The app, originally available in only German and English, has now been expanded to support 11 languages in order to get data from as many regions as possible.

m

 

Observatory Clock

One of my most used apps is Observatory Clock by Requio Web Design. It allows the user to have Local Time, Universal Time, Sidereal Time, and Martian Time displayed simultaneously along with Julian Date, Polaris position, positions of the Galilean Moons, Sun rise and sunset times all on one neatly organized, easily read screen.

Observatory Clock is well designed and does what it is intended for excellently. From the website: This application is an astronomical time keeper for observatories or for use next to a telescope. Any of the four time modes can be assigned to the large main clock panel. The analog clock is for local time as the app runs in full screen mode.

Essential Features
* Red night view
* Adjustable screen brightness
* Sleep mode on/off
* Local and UTC Time
* Sidereal and Martian Time (AMT/MTC)
* Moon phase
* Moon rise/set times
* Twilight begin/end times
* Julian day and date
* Meridian-crossing constellations
* Position of the Galilean moons
* Polaris Clock Position
* Saves sextant sight
* In-app help

I have an old 8 inch Galaxy tablet I use in the Casita. I mounted it on a door where it can be taken down and slipped into a spot for travel. The other primary use of the tablet is Radar Scope – and usually one or the other is running all the time.

The Rambling Observer gives this app the thumbs up!

SkySafari 6 Pro

For me as apps for Astronomy goes, this app is a must. I discovered its great features this year attending the Texas Star Party 2019. It is brought to us by Simulation Curriculum Corp and selld for $39.99 if memory serves me. And let me tell you, it is a bargain!

Reviewers on Play Store rate it 4.7 – I’d say it’s much better than that. It allows such things as the ability to create observing lists and notes. Observing requires a degree of organization if you wish to get the most out of your observing sessions, especially for us who must travel hours to get out of town to do deep sky observing.

It has a timely Apollo Missions section which is enjoyable and educational to use.

From the play store:

SkySafari 6 Pro will revolutionize your astronomical viewing experience. It has the largest database of any astronomy app, includes every solar system object ever discovered, offers unparalleled accuracy, flawless telescope control, and provides the very best experience under the stars when you depend on it. Discover why SkySafari 6 Pro is the #1 recommended astronomy app for serious amateur astronomers since 2009.

Here’s what’s new in version 6:

1) Clouds and Astronomy. Two words that rarely go together. SkySafari 6 Pro will (optionally) back up all of your observing data in our secure cloud storage and make it easily accessible to multiple devices as well as from our new web interface, LiveSky.com.

2) We Have The Best Stars. Precise, modern and deep. We’ve updated our star catalog to use the latest and greatest, UCAC5 star catalog. If 25 million stars down to 15th magnitude isn’t enough for you, an easy in-app purchase gets you down to 16.5 magnitude and a whopping 100 million stars!

3) We Have The Best Galaxies. The PGC catalog includes galaxies down to 18th magnitude. Want more galaxies? How about 2.6 million more? An in-app purchase gives you access to the largest galaxy database available for your device.

4) Observers First. A redesign of our tools puts the active observer first. Quick access to features like your equipment, observing sites, lists, and observations make it easy and enjoyable to get out, observe, and record your observations. The observing sessions feature lets you collect your observations into groups that span a few hours, or a few nights.

5) Graph It. The completely new graph tool will give a quick visual representation of an object’s altitude above the horizon. Essential for planning your night’s observations.

6) Plan It. Make the most of your time under the stars. Our updated planner is a powerful tool that lets you create a list of targets for your observing session with filters like object types, specific time ranges, constellation, catalog, and more. Plan it and get more done.

7) Tilt It. Every old astronomy app these days lets your tilt and pan your device to show different parts of the sky, but who else lets you control your telescope that way!? “Tilt to slew” is an optional mode allowing you to keep your eye in the eyepiece, and, using the accelerometers in your device, gently translate the movements of your hands into smooth telescope motion.

8) Share It. SkySafari 6 is more than just a mobile app, it’s a new system to help organize and share your observing experiences. With a free signup, you can see and share your observing data from our web portal, LiveSky.com! Affordable premium memberships add online editing, so you can not only view, but edit your observations, add new observing sites, manage your equipment and more. Finally, you can view, edit and manage your settings files with SkySafari Web, our fully functional web version.

If you haven’t used SkySafari 6 Pro before, here’s what you can do with it:

• Hold your device up, and SkySafari 6 Pro will find stars, constellations, planets, and more! The star chart updates automatically with your movements for the ultimate stargazing experience.

• Simulate the night sky up to 10,000 years in the past or future! Animate meteor showers, conjunctions, eclipses, and other celestial events.

• Control your telescope, log and plan your observations.

• Night Vision.

• Orbit Mode. Leave the Earth’s surface behind, and fly through our solar system.

• Galaxy View shows the position of deep sky objects in our Milky Way!

• Much more!