The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has an official app that details current missions and space programs, displays the newest photos and videos taken by satellites and astronauts, and lets you tune in to NASA TV for feature stories, in-depth study, and more.
It’s perfect for your favorite space-lover. This free app is updated regularly and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There’s also a version for Android.
The SkyORB app is perfect for astronomy lovers of any age. This freebie displays 3D star maps, 3D planetariums, 3D sky rendering and astronomy events, plus it has a built-in mapping tool that identifies any constellation, planet or space probe that you point your camera toward.
SkyORB is free and compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and it also supports the Apple Watch. There is also a version for Android. In-app purchases unlock premium content with a subscription.
Produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Space Images serves up stunning images and videos of space, stars and planets, including the earth and the sun. You can also study galaxies, weather patterns on earth, and save featured images to use as backgrounds or wallpapers on your mobile device.
Space Images is a free app that works with iPhone and iPad. There is also a version compatible with Android devices.
The free Moon Globe app specializes in satellite 3D images of the moon. View the moon through telescope or surface mode, and pinch to zoom in on various areas to learn the names of each region and the exact locations where space shuttles have landed.
Moon Globe is free and designed for use with the iPhone and iPad. Features are clearly labeled, and a touch of the label reveals all sorts of additional information.
If you love to gaze at the stars but cannot yet identify them by name, SkyView Lite is just the app you’re looking for. By simply pointing your phone’s camera at a particular star or constellation, SkyView will identify the night sky for you. It recognizes stars, constellations and satellites.
SkyView Lite is free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as Android devices. All versions include in-app purchase options for ninety-nine cents each to add features and information to the app.
Mars Globe gives you a virtual tour of Mars. View high-resolution satellite maps, laser altimeter data, and take a guided tour of the Red Planet. There are more than 1,500 images and facts in Mars Globe, and this is a must-have app for anyone curious about the solar system.
Midnight Martian is free and works with the iPhone and iPad. It includes a guided tour that rivals most planetariums, and will thrill any young astronomer.
This app uses your device’s camera and GPS to decode the night sky for you automatically. It will tell you exactly what your device is pointing at in the sky above, and give you all sorts of facts and information about it. There’s info about 120,000 stars and all 88 constellations. You can learn about the planets and their moons, and even the Milky Way.
This app is loaded with info and featuers. It’s all you need for a great star-gazing evening.
Solar Walk – Planets Explorer
Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases on iOS App Store; Free with in-app purchases on Google Play
Here’s an outstanding 3D model of our solar system and all of its features. You can see the planets, their moons, comets, and much, much more any time you wish. It’s great for understanding the relative positions of solar system objects and for helping young astronomers learn about concepts such as phases of the moon.
Solar Walk costs $4.99 on the App Store and is free to download on Google Play. Both versions offer in-app purchases.
This map app offers you information about where to go to have the best dark-sky viewing of the heavens. It also can alert you to celestial events such as aurora borealis viewing, meteor showers, moon alerts and more. You can even use it to track the International Space Station!
The app is customizable so it will alert you to events you find interesting. You can even set it to let you know when the absolute darkest part of the night will happen so you can time your stargazing. An in-app purchase of $9.99 unlocks premium content.
If astronomy games are more your speed, this app does a great job of gamifying the stars. The app will go over major planet properties like size and temperature, as well as teach information about the galaxy and universe. Play games about astronomy trivia, planet properties, and recognizing and naming images from the space program.
The app is free on both app stores, and has an in-app purchase opportunity for ninety-nine cents. This will unlock additional content and remove the advertisements.