Your iPhone as a window to the night sky

SkyView lets you use your iPhone camera view to create an augmented-reality view of the sky complete with constellations, planets, and satellites.

SkyView lets you use your iPhone camera view to create an augmented-reality view of the sky complete with constellations, planets, and satellites. Simply launch the app and point your iPhone camera skyward to see constellations and other celestial bodies where they are in real time. You also can touch planets, stars, and constellations to get more info and history at the bottom of the screen.

While you can spend plenty of time simply pointing in different directions and viewing celestial bodies, SkyView offers a few more handy features for finding what you want. You can use the search tool to quickly bring up an alphabetized list of celestial bodies, with buttons across the bottom of the interface to narrow your search to planets in our solar system--stars, constellations, or satellites. The search results let you know which celestial bodies are above or below the horizon in your location, making it easy to find things you can actually see.

Another extra lets you enter the date and time to see what's in the night sky. This acts as a sort of time machine, letting you view the position of stars and planets on a specific day and determine whether you'll be able to see a planet as it passes closer to Earth, for example. But even just using the current date and time, SkyView lets you "scrub" forward on the moon's path, for instance, to see where it will be positioned later that day.

Overall, by using augmented reality, the iPhone accelerometer, and gyroscope technology, SkyView is an excellent way to identify celestial bodies, satellites, and constellations right from your iPhone. If you've ever wanted to know what you're looking at in the night sky, this app is the perfect stargazer's companion.

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