Seeing Stars with Skyviews3 min read


Most of us have taken time to look at the wonderful twinkling universe above us. We are fortunate in Zimbabwe to enjoy clear skies for most of the year. Whilst gazing at stars is romantic, however, and an enjoyable pastime, it would be good to know exactly what we are looking at.

SkyView Free is an innovative app which allows you to see the universe from the perspective of an astronomer. Discover constellations, locate and identify stars, planets and any other celestial objects in the sky, day or night. Not only does it enable you to see where everything is in our universe, it also offers you informative snippets about each and every object that it picks up.
How does it work?

Simply point your device at the sky and it will immediately identify galaxies, stars, constellations and satellites (including the International Space Station and Hubble Telescope). Hold it up, down, on your left or right this app will let you know what is going on in our wonderful universe.

Extra Features

You can even set reminders for future celestial events and also use the date system to jump to the future or the past to see what will happen or happened on a certain date.
No WiFi is required for this incredible app, so you can use it on a boat, in the middle of the bush or on top of a mountain.
You can share the brilliant images with family and friends on social network sites.

Who is if for?

The app is a fun way to teach yourself, children, students or friends about our breathtaking universe.
Price: Free

What the experts say:

If you have ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what you are seeing, this useful app will help you. Hold your phone up to the sky and the app shows to scale the constellations, stars, planets and deep sky objects that are behind the phone. It knows where you are on the earth, it knows the time and it knows where the phone is pointing.

Tap on an object on the screen and the app will give you information about it. I found that the fancy constellation pictures made it difficult to make out the constellation shape, but it is easy to turn off this feature and leave the “stick figures” joining the stars that are easier to learn. A nice feature is that at night the information changes to red so you retain your night vision. This app is not only for beginners. Another great feature is that you can change the time and date so if you want to see if Mercury is visible in the dawn sky next month you can do this.

I was shown the app on an i-phone and was keen to download it for myself. I don’t know if it is me or my phone (which runs Android) but I was not able to download the app. If you are challenged in modern technology you may need assistance from an expert.

Peter Morris & Francis Podmore