A companion for star gazing

A companion for star gazing

Applications for mobile phones and tablets are increasingly replacing paper based information systems and guiding services in tourism. It is a market with a booming creativity, and each day new apps are introduced in order to address special interests for travelers.

Many of these apps address outdoor activities and interests, and they aim to increase the experience and the benefits while on tours and expeditions. Star watching and astronomy are key areas of interest for many who enjoy visiting dark locations and observatories.  Astronomy tours have grown into quite a busy travel niche in recent years.

New applications are emerging that assist star gazers to get the best possible delight. Star Walk for iPad or iPhone is one of them. It is an interactive astro guide to the night sky, following the user’s every movement in real-time and allowing him or her to explore over 200, 000 celestial bodies. It is supplied with information about stars and constellations that you find.
It is a quick process to get started. The user launches the app and points the iPhone or iPad at the night sky. Then it is possible to see the stars, planets, satellites, and constellations in their proper place from the specific location. As the device is moved around, the star map updates in real time. The Moon is the easiest first target. TelRad will help to find the exact position of an object when stargazing with a telescope.

There are several additional facilities, including extra information about each of the objects on the sky. A scale on right of the screen is the Time Machine, and it is possible slide it to explore the map of the night sky of tomorrow or years ago.  A calendar of celestial events will make sure that the user never misses anything interesting.

The app allows the users to share your experience on the mobile, and there is an entire stargazing twitter community within the app.  But it is also possible to project to a big screen with no picture quality loss and thereby creating a personal planetarium.

Further information abour astronomy and tourism: Fredrick M. Collison, Kevin Poe, “Astronomical Tourism”: The Astronomy and Dark Sky Program at Bryce Canyon National Park, Tourism Management Perspectives, Volume 7, July 2013, Pages 1-15


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