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Distant Suns: The night sky, reimagined.
2013 finalist in the Family category of TabTimes' best tablet app contest;
"I am putting together some mobile astronomy apps for our local "Sky's the Limit" Observatory in Twentynine Palms, CA. I have been searching for something as good as, or better than, Distant Suns. Short answer: I have not found it yet. ...nothing portrays the night sky as well as Distant Suns.
Distant Suns has been your personal guide to the cosmos since 1985. First on the desktop, now right in your hands. While others play games, you can travel to the stars.
Award-winning Distant Suns has the reputation of both having one of the most realistic displays of the night sky, while being one of the easiest to use astronomy apps for casual sky watchers as well as serious astronomers.
•Named in the "100 Essential Apps" by iLounge
•Featured on NPR's MarketPlace
•No Internet required. Just a sense of wonder.
•View from the Earth or out in the solar system
•Simply aim and gaze.
•Over 18 million pinpoint stars scintillating like diamond dust in the palm of your hand (18 mil? Yup.)
•Integrated with NASA's Night Sky Network space events in your area (US only at present)
•What's Up? Gives a quick one snapshot overview of the evening's sky
•Realistic ghostly band of the Milky Way
•Stories behind each constellation
•Viewpoint Lock keeps any object centered
•Current weather patterns on the earth, updated daily
•Change the look of the stars
•Galaxies, nebula and star clusters
•Hubble Space Telescope images
•All 8 planets (or 9 for you purists)
•Special color mode preserves your night vision.
•Touch the sky to reveal hidden data for each object
•Planetary data and information
First Light is a proud member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers with family-friendly apps.
* Has a higher resolution texture for the moon
* Constellations now have boundaries
* Add a small WhatsUp? Type display, "overview"
* Updated the Milky Way image
* of course there are the usual bugs dealt with.
Ratings and Reviews
All around useful Astro app
I've been an amateur astronomer & astronomy writer for over 30 years, and have seen a lot of software for stargazers. Since 1.0 for Windows, Distant Suns has been a great introduction to the sky, and a useful resource for users at any level. Since being ported to the iPhone, it has retained all the virtues of the original, and steadily added functionality while continuously improving the user interface. The developer is clearly committed to supporting users, and at a price that makes this one of the best bargains going. It doesn't quite measure up to Luminos in functionality I personally find valuable, hence the 4 stars, but it does some things Luminos doesn't. I use both regularly.
Great sky app!
Updated August, 2018
The last couple weeks Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars have all been in the sky, but Mars has been rising after Venus has been setting (depending on you views of the horizon).
I suspected that they may soon converge...
Annnnnd thanks to Distant Sun’s “What’Up?” Feature I just scrolled into the future, at 7pm, into September and October and see that mid-September should provide some nights when I/we all can photograph all four planets in the sky.
This “What’s Up?” is one awesome feature!!!
Thank you, Distant Suns!!!!!!
I have had the free version for years. I hesitated on paying because I was not sure that it contained some features.
Please know that Distant Suns Max DOES contain
1) position awareness... The screen moves to where you are pointing
2) it can draw the images of the constellations for you (per setting/preference)
3) when you look through the floor/ground it shows you the southern sky
4) it does have a red screen image, to help preserve your night eye sensitivity
5) it will also jump to show you the sky on a date/time you select
God bless you, Distant Suns development team!
Keep looking up!
syncing services don't work
Although I am very much signed in to iCloud the application will not recognize that and as a result won't sync properly. Crashes after toggling permissions in settings. This becomes permanent. After uninstalling and reinstalling the application no longer presents anything but a blackscreen after the tutorial is finished. This is perhaps what others are running into as well. iPad Pro 12.9" 5th Gen. iOS 15.5 This is super disappointing, but I understand your best. We had DS on Mac OS 7.5 in the 90s and it was largely responsible for my unending fascination with the cosmos. How do you look at the solar system or other objects from different angles? That was one of the best and most important features of the early Distant Sun Programs.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for the input. I'll take a look at it. Would you mind contacting via email@example.com?
Data Not Collected
The developer does not collect any data from this app.
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- Mike Smithwick
- 684.9 MB
- Requires iOS 13.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 13.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 13.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip or later.
- Age Rating
- © 2020
- In-App Purchases
- Hubble Guide Star Catalog $0.99