Google has this morning launched an update to Sky Map, an Android app that lets you find planets, stars, and constellations guided by your phone. Using the GPS and compass built into your Android operating system phone, in addition to the date and time, you’re able to see a labelled map of the sky relative your physical location, or, using the search feature, locate a particular celestial object, again relative to the user’s actual location.
You’re also able to switch the app into ‘manual’ mode, and then use the phone’s touchscreen to drag the maps around and explore other parts of the sky.
- Search: find planets, stars, and constellations guided by your phone.
- Motion detection: Sky Map uses your phone’s GPS, accelerometer, and compass to create a window in the sky that moves with your hand.
- Celestial objects: browse a map showing the brightest naked-eye stars, planets, sun and moon, constellation lines, horizon, cardinal points, and Messier Objects.
- Navigation: use automatic mode to let Sky Map adjust the map for you or switch to a manual mode that allows the map to be dragged with a finger.
Price and availability
Sky App is free, and is downloadable from the Marketplace on your Android OS phone. At the time of writing the only Android phone on sale in Australia is the HTC Dream.