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Astronomy Apps for the iPad?

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#1 Jammer53

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

I did a quick scan for a post like this and didn't see one.

Basically, I'd like some recommendations for any apps you guys use on your iPad, if any. And what they do for you.

Free is good, but paying for one is ok if it's worth it.

So what do you have?

Thanks.

Jim

#2 Lane

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:21 AM

I bought an iPad just so I could use the Sky Safari Pro app.

I use it to control my computerized telescopes and to plan/log observing sessions. It replaced all the star atlases and books that I use to take with me to the dark site. Still my favorite and most used app.

There are other nice apps out there I like, but nothing in the same league with sky safari pro.

Here are a few others I use:
Scope Nights by Egg Moon Studio
Skyweek from Sky and Telescope
Meteor Shower Calendar by Chris Wilcox
Moon Globe HD
Star Walk
Moon by cdv concepts
Dark Sky Finder by skidmore apps
GoSkyWatch by GoSoftWorks

#3 crazyqban

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:43 AM

Sky Safari is the way to go. Also check out Scope Nights and Observer Pro. They are not free but they are very good.

#4 Jammer53

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

@ Lane - WOW! You bought an iPad just to be able to use Sky Safari Pro? That must be a heckuva app. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check them out.

@crazyqban I'll look at your suggestions also. Thanks guys!

#5 CJK

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

Sky Safari is the way to go. Also check out Scope Nights and Observer Pro. They are not free but they are very good.


+1 on all three. (+3?)

FYI, Josh Bury, the author of Observer Pro, has plans for version 2 of that app to improve the observing list features, most especially adding import & export. Being able to exchange lists with Sky Tools 3 would be a dream. Unfortunately, work on version 2 has been slowed by his new job.

-- Chris

#6 GaryJCarter

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

In addition to SkySafari Pro I use the following:

Moon HD - tour the lunar surface, show observers what they are seeing through the eyepiece in a larger context during Outreach
Mars HD - tour the Martian surface
Gas Giants - see the positions of the GRS, Galilean moons, and Saturn's moons
Exoplanet - stay current on the Kepler Mission discoveries, access current papers related to Exoplanet discoveries
Kepler - same as above but discoveries are not yet confirmed
3D Sun - Alerts and details of current Solar activity
Hubble Zoom - peruse some of the photos taken by Hubble
AstroPlanner - A useful observing list planner

#7 Lane

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:01 AM

I downloaded the full version of Astroplanner tonight just to see what it can do. It doesn't seem do much that Sky Safari can't do a lot better, but it does do one thing that is pretty cool. It can download images of what you plan to view and do so at the specific field of view (FOV) of your telescope and eyepiece. It can even do multiple pictures so if you plan to view with 4 different eyepieces tonight, you can have pictures available (offline) that you can compare to what you are seeing in each eyepiece. There is only one bug in this and that is that you have to remember what pictures you downloaded at what FOVs. It does not give you a list. If you downloaded a picture based on your 22mm eyepiece FOV you can only see the picture if you put in that specific FOV value.

What I really don't like is that you can only build 5 favorites list (i.e. observing lists) and it does no duplicate checking so you can accidentally put in the same object more than once. It also does not tell you when the messier object you just put in the list is the same as the NGC object you put in the list earlier. This is because the databases are not cross referenced. No common names are supplied either, so it never tells you that M27 is the dumbbell neb.

I was thinking this was going to allow me to enter a bunch of different selection criteria to pick objects for viewing but it doesn't. Perhaps in a future version it will be improved, but in the meantime the ability to download those pictures tailored to a specific ota and eyepiece is worth the $10.

#8 pjglad

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

Suggest you try AstroAid

#9 Ciprian

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

There's also the free SkyKey by Meade for iPhone/iPad.

#10 obrazell

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:52 AM

Note that AstroPlanner for IOS is not the same product as AstroPlanner for PC/Mac or from the same author.

Owen

#11 Lane

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:53 AM

Yep - Astroplanner on the PC is pretty nice.

#12 Tom Polakis

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

In case it hasn't been mentioned, ESO Top 100 Astronomical Images for iPad is terrific, and free. With all due respect to HST images, in my opinion these ESO images have them beat by a wide margin.

Tom

#13 Spaced

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

What I really don't like is that you can only build 5 favorites list (i.e. observing lists) and it does no duplicate checking so you can accidentally put in the same object more than once. It also does not tell you when the messier object you just put in the list is the same as the NGC object you put in the list earlier. This is because the databases are not cross referenced. No common names are supplied either, so it never tells you that M27 is the dumbbell neb.


Sky Safari does a much better job on the lists, IMO. I'm making quite a few, titling them according to the constellations. As they are built up, I should have a lot of answers to, "What to look at tonight?" questions. Information on each object -- doubtless with some omissions -- includes all catalog listings and popular names. There is a search section devoted to asterisms but others have pointed out that it is fairly incomplete.






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