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Distant Suns (max)

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#1 Photobud


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

I have been using this app on my Kindle Fire for some time now and really like it. It won't point my telescope and can't create a planning list, but it still is an excellent planetarium program and is better than the two or three others that I have tried on my Kindle.

From it's website:

Distant Suns (max) astronomy app is an award-winning hand-held planetarium with over 25 years of development, offering you the new way to look at the sky from on the Earth to off. Sporting over 130,000 stars, all 8 (or is it 9?) planets, the sun and moon, constellations, galaxies, nebula and star clusters, Distant Suns offers a gracefully visual respite from a busy day. While others play games, you can travel to the stars.

One of the newer features of the (max) version that I really like is the "lock" function when focusing on planets. For example, by locking the display on Jupiter, selecting the proper zoom level, and varying the time, you can watch the "dance" of the Galilean moons. Neat, informative, and fun. Perfect for understanding how the images seen through the telescope come to be.

The same lock function (only available on the planets menu (as far I know)) can be applied to the moon which shows the phase graphically. As you alter the time/date, the moon is shown as it would appear from your location.

The descriptions of objects is fairly thorough and the pics of most Messier and Caldwell are well done and will whet your appetite for more detailed views from other sources.

Obviously not as detailed as many dedicated planetarium programs on PC's, it still gives a you a handy item to carry with you.

The only fault that I have with this is that there is no "red screen" function that I can find. Obviously there separate tools for the Kindle Fire that can supply the necessary darkening/red screen necessary for observing.

I'm sure there are many other opinions about this and am looking forward to hearing them!

#2 Jeff2011



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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:56 PM

Distant suns is a great app. I started with it but later changed to ski safari since sky safari had more stars which was useful to me when comparing my view through the eyepiece. I actually like how ds draws the constellation lines as less distracting than ski safari. However I like how sky safari shows the relative size of a DSO while DS shows a generic symbol of the same size for each DSO. I have the iPhone version and it has a red screen mode. I wonder if you are running into a restriction with the kindle.

#3 AdirondackAstro



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

I would prefer something like Sky Safari to make it's appearance on the Kindle Fire HD. I have distant suns which is alright, and Skeye which is okay, but a little hard to use. I found a Stellarium.apk that works great and shows Messier, and NGC Objects... works almost as good as the computer version. Currently the Stellarium.apk file I found is the best astronomy app on my Kindle.

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