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10 Best Free Stargazing Apps 2019

Thanks to technology, we’ve managed to map a staggering 1.7 billion stars in our observable universe. Of course, with our puny human eyes, even locating just one specific star in the night sky can be a challenge. That’s where stargazing apps come in. Whether you’re just getting started in astronomy or you know the night sky like the back of your hand, these apps can be of tremendous help. While you might have to pay for ones with all the bells and whistles, these are the top free apps that will help you explore the cosmos effectively.

1. Skyview Lite (Android and iOS)
Skyview is an augmented reality app that has both a free and paid version. All you have to do is point it towards the sky, and it’ll tell you what you’re looking at.

2. Star Chart (Android and iOS)
Star Chart also uses augmented reality to help you learn about the night sky. It also supports voice commands such as “Go to Saturn.”

3. Night Sky (iOS)
This app lets you get up close and personal to celestial objects with their 3D “Object Exploration” feature. If you’re an iOS fan, one big advantage of Night Sky is that it can work on your Apple Watch.

4. Sky Map (Android)
In its original incarnation, Sky Map was developed as a Google project and is now available to everyone. It’s not as fancy and flashy as some of the others on this list, but its minimalistic design does everything a hand-held planetarium should.

5. SkySafari (Android and iOS)
Like the other apps on this list, SkySafari can help you locate objects in the sky. It can also take you to the past and show you what the sky used to look like, simulate meteor showers, and replay solar eclipses. You also have the option to take an audio tour.

6. Star Walk 2 (Android and iOS)
Beyond the basic features like guiding you around the sky, Star Walk 2 also keeps you up to date on the latest astronomy news and provides detailed information about the object you’re looking at.

7. Nightshift: Stargazing & Astronomy (Android)
Nightshift is less of a stargazing app and more like an astronomer’s best friend. It tells you what the seeing conditions in your area are forecast to be like, reminds you about astronomical events occurring in the future, and can even help you keep a record of your favorite stargazing locations.

8. SkyWiki (Android)
The name says it all. SkyWiki is like Wikipedia for astronomy. Not only does it offer a top notch skymap, it also has a calendar of astronomical events, periscope, and incredible photos of objects in the sky.

9. Star Tracker (Android and iOS)
The free version of Star Tracker is lovely and simplistic, providing you with a map of the sky and beautiful constellation art to help you see the shapes in the cosmos. If you want more features, the Pro version is only $2.99.

10. Starlight (Android and iOS)
Starlight might be bare bones, but it offers hand-painted artwork of the constellations overlaid on a 100,000 star database. If all you need is a map to the stars, this is the one to get.
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