Night Sky 2 is an educational app designed by iCandi which provides an encyclopedic virtual map of the stars. Your iPad’s compass can be aimed at any point in the sky and constellations, planets, satellites appear before you. The app is equal parts gorgeous and informative. The Sky View is all rendered in amazing quality and the sky tracking is near seamless. If anything does go wrong with the compass tracking (which only happened once, when I was trying it an indoor downstairs room), waving your iPad in a figure eight recalibrates the device. The constellation drawings are all original art work, and very nice. I discovered some new constellations I didn’t even know existed, although considering how much interpretation is involved in some of these, I still like to make my own.
The amount of information that can appear as satellites, space stations, constellations, planets and names on screen can be overwhelming. Thankfully, a built-in search function can help filter out what information appears in your Sky View. It can also help you find a particular object you’re looking for, using a helpful arrow to point you in the right direction. Additionally, by searching or double tapping an object, you can visit a page featuring anything you might want to know about that object. From the tales and origins of constellations to the radial velocity and parallax of Betelgeuse, a library of information comes to your fingertips.
Other cool features included in the app for amateur astronomers are sunrise and sunset times, moon phases, and push notifications for how the stargazing conditions will be on a given night. A VR mode uses the iPad’s camera and overlays the Sky View to the image, using the actual sky as the canvas onto which it projects the constellations.
This app is the next best thing to having Neil Degrasse Tyson stand next to you, calmly elucidating on the science and mythology of those stars, planets, and myriad of lights we can see from our terrestrial plane. It’s significantly cheaper too. For a limited time, the app is 75% off, and at only $0.99, it’s a steal! An app that teaches as well as it entertains and inspires deserves to supernova its way up the charts, so don’t miss out on this chance to get this hidden gem at such a low price.
WARNING: This app is not compatible with 1st generation iPads.