Depending on where you live, the night sky may not be as clear to see. Tap or click here to see what photos NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured on your birthday. Even if you have a clear view of the stars and planets, it’s hard to know what that is without a background in astronomy.
Well, go figure, there’s an app for that! Not only is there an app, but also a website. Stellarium Web easily brings the wonders of the universe to your computer and smartphone.
Skip the trip to the local planetarium and watch the stars and planets from home. Here’s a look at which constellations and planets are out tonight.
What does Stellarium Web offer?
Stellarium Web is not a limited viewing platform. Universities around the world use it for its accuracy. Using your location, Stellarium will show you which constellations and planets are currently in the sky based on your region.
If you open it at night, you will see a current view of what is in the sky around you. If you open it during the day, it will give you a night view reading of the current day you are in.
What can I use Stellarium for?
Teachers use Stellarium, but it has many personal uses. If you’re curious where a specific constellation or planet is, for example, such as the Big Dipper, you can use the convenient search feature at the top of the screen.
If you’re out in nature, free of city distractions and want to get a better view of what’s in front of you, Stellarium will show you what constellations are in your night sky.
In addition to personal use, the app and website may be used to enhance your astronomy knowledge. Whether it’s for the classroom or a hobby, Stellarium has the most up-to-date information on everything the sky has to offer.
Other Convenient Features
Since planets and constellations move across the sky throughout the night, some things can only be seen at specific times.
If you’re curious about what you can watch later in the evening, use Stellarium’s fast-forward feature. Simply click on the time control and move the pointer forward or backward depending on the time you want to see.
If you want to focus on any one constellation or planet, find it. Once you do, the platform will lock it so you can see it.
You can keep track of your favorite destinations through one account with NocturaSky. Just create an account under Observation to keep track of your comments and emulate other features.
Pricing & Apps
You can access the web-based version for free by heading here. But Stellarium also offers apps in both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
The Android-based app gives you the same features as the web-based platform, with a fun twist. Point your phone up to the sky to see what can be seen in that frame. You can download the free version from Google Play here.
The iOS app is similar to the web and Android-based platforms, with one exception. There is no free option. You’ll need to pay $13.99 to download the app, which you can do by heading here.