Explore the Cosmos
Guide to the Sky Above
Short of owning a spaceship, Night Sky is one of the coolest ways to explore the universe. With a map of 1.7 billion stars, planets, and other celestial bodies, it’s among the most comprehensive astronomy apps in the galaxy. (That we know of, anyway.)
1. See what’s above
Point your iPhone or iPad toward the sky to see constellations (along with drawings of their namesakes from Greek mythology), planets, moons, rocket bodies, satellites, and much more. You can also overlay Night Sky’s maps on top of the actual night sky above you: Just tap the AR icon at the top right and drag with two fingers to blend the views.
2. Say hi to the International Space Station
Want to wave to your friends on the ISS when it passes overhead? Search “International Space Station,” tap Directions, then follow the arrows to pinpoint the speedy orbiter on its flight around Earth. (A complete orbit only takes about 90 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of chances.) The search feature works with both constellations and planets.
3. Wander the solar system
Night Sky’s incredible AR Grand Orrery feature uses augmented reality to create a scale model of our solar system, like an enormous diorama you can stroll through. To see all the celestial bodies around you in orbit, tap anywhere, then tap the play button. You can even enter a date to see how all the stars and planets will align at a certain time.
4. Visit another planet
Ever dreamed of going for a stroll on Saturn? The AR Planetary Portals feature simulates what it’s like to walk on the surface of any planet in our solar system. (We’re aware that technically you can’t walk on Saturn because it’s made of gas.) Using your iPhone or iPad as a window onto this world, you’ll see constellations and planets from an entirely different vantage point. Yes, that’s Earth just above the horizon!
5. Revisit the golden age of space travel
The app’s Space Exploration Timeline walks you through the entire history of the space program, from Yuri Gagarin’s inaugural trip to the present day. It’s an enlightening tour through an incredible period of discovery.