Friday, March 11, 2011

Ten Best Apps For Android : App 6 - Google Sky Map

This is my sixth post in this series. You must have enjoyed my previous five posts and tried out the apps I described in those posts. In case you are visiting this page directly and have not read my earlier posts then too there is no need to worry, you can still read last five posts from archive. Today I am going to talk about one of the fascinating best apps for Android and it is Google Sky Map. 

Google Sky Map : This may be an awesome app for astronomers and hobbyist who love to gaze midnight sky and stars. Many times serious hobbies get started with just little bit of curiosity and even if you are not astronomer or  a person who loves to gaze in night sky, this can be a good opportunity to initiate something new. 

Almost all of us love to watch moon and stars in the bright night sky. Walking in full moon night, looking at the sky, with our loved ones around is just a pleasure. For the city-dwellers this could be a rare possibility, but when we go out of our city over the weekend then we can experience the luminous beauty of the night sky. On full moon night sky is filled with so many twinkling stars and with a little guide book star gazing can be an overwhelming experience. Google Sky Map is such a guide book placed in your palm in the form of an Android app. Lets get started and take a look at Sky Map in action.

Google Sky Map
Above screenshot of the Google Sky Map would give you an idea about what we can see when we launch this awesome app on Android. It shows names of the stars and planets and we can navigate through map with ease.

Sky Map Menu
Second screenshot given above depicts the menu options available in Google Sky Map. I am describing briefly these menus below so that you can understand the power of this small app.

This menu displays two additional menus that is "Help" and "Terms of Service".

Time travel:
This feature is exactly what it claims. It allows you to see the sky at specific time in the past or future. This menu allows you to select specific time and makes a nice sound to give you feel of actual time travel. Once time is set you can see the position of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies on that specified time in past or future. What a mind boggling feature!

This displays Sky Map Hubble Gallery. You can see the beautiful pictures of Nebula, Galaxies and Planets in this gallery. You can select the pictures from this gallery to search that celestial body in Google Sky Map.

Apart from other settings this allows you to select which of the celestial bodies you want to see on map and which you want to hide.

Toggle night mode:
This allows you to toggle the night mode ON and OFF.

As it suggest this allows you to search a celestial body with it's name.

Jupiter searched by Sky Map
Above screenshot shows the Jupiter searched using 'Search' feature of the Sky Map. You can come out of search mode by clicking the cross mark displayed at one of the corner of the screen. I hope this app would help you to learn about stars, planets and their location in the sky. But if you want to pursue star gazing as a hobby then there are many good books available on this subject on Amazon. One of such book is giving below if you would like to consider buying it.

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night SkyBest_Apps_For_Android_Sky_Map

That brings us to end of sixth best app for Android from this series. You can download Sky Map from Android Market and start getting familiar with our neighboring stars and planets. Next time I would bring to you seventh of the best apps for Android, so keep tuned in and keep reading. Till then bye, have fun.

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