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The stars and the planets and the sky.

Written By: Gary on May 5, 2012 No Comment

This stellar planetarium in your pocket is an application called Star Walk, and it’s only 99 cents on the iPhone, this is normally $2.99 and worth it for the price (the cheapest I’ve ever seen). It’s also available for the iPad for $1.99 (which is much cheaper than the usual $4.99).

starwalk.pngThis is listed as a Mother’s day sale so I’m not sure when it’s ending, that’s not for a week (right?!?) and that would be a long sale (unless they got their weeks mixed up!).

I did a much longer Star Walk review a year ago with many screen captures and a lot more information that you’ll have to read for all the details.

This is a planetarium in your pocket. If you device has a the GPS and gyroscope, you just tilt it up at the sky and it will identify what you’re point it. It’s awesome! There are some similar products, but I think this might be the most polished.

Other than some small bits of information (and the space image of the day) you DO not need to be connected to the internet to use this information. So this is useful anywhere you can see the stars!!!

Written By: Gary on April 9, 2011 No Comment

This amazing planetarium in your pocket is an application called Star Walk, and it’s only 99 cents on the iPhone until April 12, 2011, this is normally $2.99 and worth it for the price. It’s the 50th anniversary of spaceflight and they’re celebrating by giving us a deal! It’s also available for the iPad for $4.99.

starwalk.pngStar Walk shows you all the stars and constellations, just by holding it up to the sky and pointing, it’s amazing! It uses the GPS for hassle free alignment, on other models it’ll use the gyroscope to have you set it up and then it’s supposed to follow along from there. Plus, it calculates this all based on where you are all with no internet connection required*.

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This is the startup screen (called “sky live”).

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Two views holding my phone to the East (one above and one below the horizon).

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A portion of the animated detail screen for Betelguese (internet not needed).

They also have a another app just for our Solar System called Solar Walk (3D Solar System model) which is more detail on just our solar system. It’s $2.99 but it’s universal and runs on iPad and iPhone; and they make Solar Walk for Mac but no Star Walk (yet!).

* Additional information (beyond the paragraphs and stats that are included) on planets (and stars?) is available and does require internet. Also the astronomy picture of the day requires the internet.

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2009 No Comment

I mentioned the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing earlier today. Here’s a few other “space” things that caught my eye:

themoon.jpg

  • Apollo 11 restored HD video.
  • Send your name to Mars and get a certificate.
  • For your iPhone and iPod Touch get SkyVoyager and SkyGazer for free today (normally $17.98 combined).
  • Photos of the Moon landing sites from the LRO.
  • And Google has added the Moon to Google Earth (desktop application).
  • That’s it for now. Please post any recommended links in the comments below.

    Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Written By: Gary on December 9, 2007 No Comment

    Meade mySKY Personal Guide for Sky Exploration MeadeSo this was a cool item I saw at REI the other day when I was looking at GPS units. Its a gun you point up at the night sky and it calculates where you are, the direction you’re facing and what angle the gun is tilted at and lights up it’s display and tells you what you are looking at (with a picture too).

    Unfortunately, it was daytime and I couldn’t use it. The one I saw was the Meade mySKY Personal Guide for Sky Exploration, this might just be something I need. This is the Official Meade site for the mySky (with some video)

  • it can identify 30,000 unique items
  • 500 audio descriptions to keep you well briefed
  • built in GPS receiver
  • 2 inch wide 480 x 234 LCD
  • Sandy Wood (from StarDate) is who narrates the sky for you
  • interfaces with some Meade telescopes
  • looks like a space gun / phaser
  • Popular Mechanics gave it a great review. But a lot of the people reviewing these seem to have them dead out of the box or problems getting the GPS to “lock”. The ones who it worked for absolutely love them. Possible other problems: Waving a gun around outside or trying to get it through airport security. And for some reason you can only update it on a Windows machine (via an SD card).Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium CelestronThe Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium seems to be a similar product, but it’s not as cool looking but it’s a year older and I think they’ve worked some of the bugs out. Many of the SkyScout complaints seemed to also be with getting the GPS to “lock”.

    And. of course, there is a chart to compare the mySky and SkyScout.

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    Written By: Gary on March 3, 2007 No Comment

    Picture 2Wow! This is the Astronomy Picture of the Day today! The above link will get you “today’s” picture whenever today is. This link will get you March, 3rd 2007 which is the one I’m talking about. It’s the moon (our moon) passing in front of the sun using ultraviolet cameras.

    The extra amazing part is once you go to that page you can watch a short animated movie of the 12 hour transition.

    Written By: Gary on July 5, 2006 No Comment

    So my Mom called because she heard (from Chuck) that you could see both the ISS and the Space Shuttle go by tonight and she knows I like stuff like that. So I dug around and found this which tells you when you can see cool stuff like that. Sure enough, I saw the ISS exactly when they said although the shuttle was a minute late. The times do vary slightly from city to city so be sure to look up your town. The shuttle I’m slightly less confident on due to delays, but it was definitely something. Tomorrow, I see they are passing at the exact same time, I’m assuming they’ll be docked! I guess I’ll be able to tell via this tracker tomorrow.

    And you can find your city too! Be sure to check out SkyWatch after you look up your city (it’s more detailed and complicated so do the simple one first).

    Written By: Gary on October 4, 2005 2 Comments

    Last night it was cloudy, but tonight the sky was just beautiful. I keep forgetting to look up and see what that red thing (dot/planet) to the east is maybe 45 degrees up (I’m always a bad guestimator on that stuff, but it wasn’t near the horizon).

    There are so many stars. I know that I can see so many more up north but even at home, there are just so many. Why?


    I know that’s not a first for the question but there’s just so many of them. And they are so far away and apart from each other. That’s not even taking the relativistic effects of the grand distances between them all, that’s just another ball of awe (and thoughts). If we ended up with “us” here, regardless of the source (or the odds) there’s just got to be more life out there. Or at least more of something out there.

    Written By: Gary on December 10, 2004 5 Comments

    Anyone know anything about a planetary alignment tonight? (Or this week?) The weather guy mentions it (on the left down a little, by the video clip) but I can’t find anything on-line about it (Yahoo/Google/Space.com). A link (or two) if you had any information would be excellent…

    Written By: Gary on October 27, 2004 3 Comments

    You can definitely see the eclipse and see that it’s RED but it’s just to hard to really see it well. :(

    Written By: Gary on May 27, 2004 No Comment

    I was looking for a (regular) calendar and I found this.

    Written By: Gary on May 27, 2004 No Comment

    So I really like the way the background it working out! The moon changing with the phases is pretty nifty. It wasn’t moving very fast at first, as a matter of fact it didn’t match some other moon icons so I think something choked at the US Naval Observatory where I get it from, it seems like it’s sped up the last 24 hours. It wasn’t previously matching some other moon viewers.

    Written By: Gary on March 16, 2004 No Comment

    sednaIt looks like we’ve got another new planet! And it’s way out there. It’s three times farther from Earth than Pluto. This is an artists rendition, please note the bright dot on the right is our Sun.

    Check out CNN, NASA and most importantly the Spitzer Telescope at Caltech where it looks like it was discovered. I should have been an astronomer or an astronaut…

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