What are the best iphone apps for astronomers?

by Jane on April 4, 2011

I got my first iphone yesterday and am playing catch-up.  Please laugh at me.  In the meantime, let’s compile a list of the best smartphone applications for astronomers, shall we?

The AstroBetter Wiki has a stubby page on iphone apps for astronomers. What’s missing? Obviously astro-ph tools and APOD are missing — what else?

Also, the wiki has no apps yet for other brands of smartphones.  (I’m trying to be less applecentric.)  What are the killer Android/Crackberry/Yota apps?

We encourage you to login and start editing the wiki to your liking.  Or, just comment to this post.



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David April 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

There is a “astro-ph” App. It’s called ArXiv.
I also like “Star Walk” and “Papers” (because I have it on my Mac, as well)


2 Ash April 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

I’d say “Star Walk” is a must-have. I also particularly like “Exoplanet”, constantly updated, with some very nice features.


3 saurav April 4, 2011 at 10:53 am
4 Kyle April 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I use a Droid rather than an iphone. Other than arXiv droid (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.commonsware.android.arXiv&feature=search_result) I also wanted to point out that I recently created an astrophysics app for Droid that converts between the a galaxy’s virial mass, stellar mas, and gas mass as a function of redshift, using various abundance matching models and observed galaxy gas fractions as estimators.

The app, GalMass, can be found at https://market.android.com/details?id=appinventor.ai_StewartKR.GalMass&feature=search_result


5 ks April 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

GravLens and CosmoCalc


6 Jonathan Fraine September 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Exoplanets: great way to fast reference the phone numbers
Kepler: same author, but doesn’t update as much because he spends a lot of time on the other app

Star-Walk is great and has many pretty features

Planets (it’s free): although it specializes in the planets’ rising and setting times, it has a great “Sky 2D” feature for “what’s in the sky right now”. As well, there is “Sky 3D” option that works a lot like Star-Walk and Stellarium, but with less goodies.

I also use arXiv, but it only displays today’s releases: there’s no “archive” on the arXiv app.

There’s also “NASA Now”, Wolfram and Wikipedia apps, which are useful.


7 Rodney July 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

I have purchased almost every app that the iphone has to offer about astronomy. In my opinion pocketuniverse is the best follwed up with something a little more simple called Nightsky. Pocketuniverse offers features I have yet to see on any other app. It helps you locate planets, the sun, the moon, asteroids/comets, birghtest stars, constellations, messier, and caldwell. When you target any object in the sky it tells you what it is, shows pictures, and offers a wiki link for more information


8 Rodney July 17, 2012 at 11:29 am

I forgot to mention that everyone seems to mention Starwalk as the best app. If you are only looking for planets and stars and dont have a telescope then Starwalk is the best way to go. BUTTTT… if you are a more serious astronomer and want a good app that can help you locate DSO (deep space objects) than Pocketuniverse is the way to go.

9 terri N March 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Starmap Pro and Sky Safari are much better designed and much richer in terms of star and deep sky databases than any app mentioned here. Anyone interested in stargazing and amateur astronomy really should look into them.


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