iPhone Screenshots


Unleash the power of your smartphone to take you on a guided tour of the night sky, even if you’ve never used a telescope before.


This one-of-a-kind app uses patent-pending technology in combination with a Celestron StarSense Explorer telescope (sold separately) to analyze star patterns overhead to calculate the telescope’s position in real time with pinpoint accuracy.
StarSense Explorer’s sky recognition technology has revolutionized the manual telescope by eliminating the confusion common among beginners and enhancing the user experience for even seasoned telescope users. Many would-be astronomers become frustrated or lose interest in their manual telescope because they don’t know where to point it to see planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies—the good stuff! StarSense Explorer tells you exactly which celestial objects are currently visible in the night sky and where to move your telescope to place those objects in the telescope’s eyepiece.


The user-friendly planetarium interface allows you to scan the skies for objects you wish to view. You can also search for objects in the extensive database.
Not sure what to observe? StarSense Explorer automatically generates a list of all the best stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae and more currently visible from your location. Simply select one from the list and off you go!
While you observe, you can access detailed information, images, and audio descriptions for the most popular objects. It’s a great way for the entire family to learn scientific facts, history, mythology, and more, deepening your understanding of the night sky.


To get started, assemble your StarSense Explorer telescope and download the app. Your telescope includes a unique unlock code to access the full features of the app. Connect your phone to the telescope by placing it into the StarSense dock and launch the app.
After a simple 2-step procedure to align the smartphone’s camera with the telescope, the app displays a view of the night sky and shows a bullseye on the screen to represent the telescope’s current pointing position. From here, you can select an object to view by tapping it in the planetarium view or selecting it from the Tonight’s Best observing list. Objects will vary from night to night; you may see planets like Jupiter or Saturn, nebulae like Orion, the Andromeda Galaxy, or other object types.
Once you select an object, the app displays pointing arrows onscreen. These indicate where to move the telescope to find it. Follow the arrows until the bullseye appears centered on target. When the bullseye turns green, the object is visible in the telescope’s lower powered eyepiece.


StarSense Explorer uses image data captured by the smartphone’s camera to determine its pointing position. The app captures an image of the night sky and then matches the star patterns within the image to its internal database in a process like fingerprint matching or facial recognition.
The process of extracting star pattern data in images to determine a telescope’s current pointing position is called “plate solving.” It is the same method used by professional observatories and orbiting satellites.
The StarSense Explorer app is the first app ever developed that uses plate solving to determine the smartphone’s current pointing position. Other astronomy apps rely on the smartphone’s gyroscopes, accelerometers, and compass to estimate its pointing position. These methods are not accurate enough to place objects within the telescope’s field of view.
StarSense Explorer technology is patent-pending.


Compatible with iPhone 6 and higher.


Support for English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Russian.

What’s New

Version 1.1.1

Russian language support added.
Localization fixes.
Graphics Improvements
Observation UI fixes

Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

Astrodoc71 ,

App functionality disappointing

I've been using telescopes for 50 years and set up a DX 102 starsense explorer for a friend who bought this as a beginner scope. Let's start with the good. For a beginning achromat it is solid and very good quality. The red dot finder is great. The alt-az mount is sturdy and mount head movement is smooth and stays where you put it. Also very good assembly instructions. Now the app. I think the app itself is actually great as a tool for seeing what's out there. It has great graphical interface, a ton of information about the objects you're looking at. Unfortunately the whole smart-phone to telescope alignment and telescope orientation using that patented LISA algorithm or whatever does not seem to work very consistently if at all. I did get the telescope to orient initially and tried moving it to M42 and it was about 1 field width off. Then I tried improving telescope alignment and after that the telescope would not locate at all.
Nice idea but just doesn't work well enough at least so far from what I have seen

skiidz1 ,

Alignment is off

I have a Celestron StarSense explore 114 AZ. I have followed the procedure for proper alignment on the app and the telescope. My alignment with the red laser and the eyepiece are aligned properly but when I use the app to aline in to the telescope the object is about an inch off on the screen and I’ve tried to align the app multiple times. I do like this app just wish alignment was a little easier or maybe I’m doing something wrong.

mstrattao ,

Works great!

This app is necessary with the new Celestron StarSense Explorer DX telescopes and you need to have one with their special phone mounts in order to use this app to its fullest.
The plate solving features work great!
I really like the nightly challenge objects list. I like that it makes me semi competent at finding objects and seeing awesome things that I would have a really tough time finding otherwise.
I think this app does what it aims to do really well. If only I could have more clear nights to make use of it, although this has really come in handy even in less than ideal conditions.
Like all things that are new, it is not without its kinks, but nothing I can’t work around!

App Privacy

The developer, Celestron, LLC, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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