Mobile Astronomy Applications Guide for Apple + Android SmartPhones

This list is a crosspost of an article by Heather Archuletta (@pillownaut). It was first published on her website

Please find below a list of 140 fully space-related mobile applications for hand-held devices. What started off as a quick search for a few space-related apps, ended up in pretty serious research to get a comprehensive list of all available space-apps in April 2012.

One of the most notable apps is 'Venus Transit'. Make sure you check into that one! The next transit of Venus in June will be the last of your lifetime!

Mobile Astronomy Apps 2012
FREE!  Aquarius (NASA)  Aquarius/SAC-D observatory mission by NASA and space agency of Argentina to study ocean salinity, freshwater paths and other factors affecting Earth's climate.
$0.99  Apollo On The Moon Apollo mission photograph wallpapers; also, interactive footage and voice recordings from the Apollo astronauts.
FREE! Ascent: Shuttle (NASA) Commemorative video of STS-114, 117, and 124 Shuttle missions, including entire Ascent production with commentary, images, etc. 
FREE!  AstroApp: Space Shuttle
Crew (NASA)
Every space traveler who flew on every Space Shuttle in the 30-year program, 1981 - 2011, sorted by name or by mission.
FREE!  AstroApp: Space Station
Crew (NASA)
17 partner countries support science in low Earth orbit aboard the ISS; every space traveler who flew on every expedition, sorted by name or mission.
$1.99  Astrock  Astronomical Clock: real-time sky map, daylight awareness, planet positions.
$0.99 AstroGizmo Simple Astronomy: 88 modern constellations, planets, moon and all stars visible to the naked eye.
$14.99 Astromist Largest pocket astronomer on multiple platforms, with 20,000 images! Telescope control, Moon calendar, and Earth satellites simulator. Also: Mars, Jupiter, Comet & Asteroid assistants.
$9.99 Astromo Orrery, Armillary, Ephemeris: see where in the zodiac the Sun, Moon and visible planets are, sunrise/sunset times, etc.
$2.99 Astronomy POTD Picture Of The Day viewer with beautiful wallpapers and accompanying facts.
$2.99 Astronomy POTD Slightly fewer POTD facts and wallpapers.
FREE!  Astronomy POTD Lite Picture Of The Day viewer with beautiful wallpapers and accompanying facts.
FREE!  Astronomy POTD Lite Slightly fewer POTD facts and wallpapers.
$0.99 Astronomy WhereIsIt Celestial objects, star refs, messier objects, horizon coordinates, etc.
FREE!  Astro Planner Lite Astronomical deep sky objects like galaxies, nebulas and star clusters, plus link to NASA's Sky View servers.
FREE! AstroTools Hand-held Planetarium for the amateur astronomer, nice one for beginners.
FREE! Best of Astronomy Scientific information, videos, books on astronomy topics with reporting features for: universe origin, solar system, galaxies, black holes, big bang theory, famous scientists, etc.
FREE!  Cassini (NASA) Mission launched in 1997 exploring Planet Saturn and its moons; orbits, flybys, study data, news updates, maneuver.
FREE!  CometQuest (NASA) Land the Rosetta spacecraft on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and record surface craters and cracks, water or gas jets erupting, rock and ice of the bright tail, etc.
FREE! CosmoCalc Set a reference cosmology and redshift to calculate astronomical distances and scales.
FREE! CraterSizeXL Calculates predicted results of asteroid impact event on various planets.  Yeah, gee, that's not morbid at all. 
FREE! Daily Astronomy Displays NASA's astronomy photo of the day except when there's a video.
$5.49  Deep Sky Browser Access to the Digital Sky Survey with 45,000+ celestial objects.
$9.99  Distant Suns  Night Sky Network Star-gazing, star data, constellation labels, etc.
FREE! DLR - German 
Aerospace Ctr
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V's online magazine, missions and activities.
FREE!  Earth Now (NASA) 3D models of global climate data from Earth Science satellites: air temps, carbon dioxide & monoxide, ozone, water vapor, gravity and sea level variations.
$0.99  Emerald Observatory Astronomical clocks, orrery, star charts, moon phases, eclipse simulator, etc.
FREE! ESA OSHI European Space Agency Online Showcase of Herschel Images; Hershel Space Observatory carries the largest, most powerful infrared telescope ever flown in space.
FREE! ESO TOP 100 European Southern Observatory images, music and descriptions from the world's most advanced ground telescopes in Chile.
FREE! Exoplanet Daily updated database of all extrasolar planets discovered by the NASA Kepler mission.
FREE! Fermi Sky Fermi gamma-ray space telescope images, supermassive black holes, merging neutron stars, etc.
$0.99  Galaxy Collider Graphical simulator for physics of interacting and/or colliding galaxies. Bang.
FREE! Galaxy Wire Space News NASA and ESA agency news, videos, alerts, etc.
FREE! Galaxy Zoo Help astronomers classify galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey according to shape.
FREE! Google Sky Map Android window on the night sky, showing constellations, planets and stars.
$9.99 GoSatWatch Real-time earth-orbit satellite tracking, including the International Space Station (ISS).
$3.99 GoSkyWatch Planetarium Point to the sky with your device to use as a personal telescope to locate stars, planets, constellations, galaxies.
FREE! Go StarGaze Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the largest general astronomy society in the world, helps find stargazing events and astronomy clubs.
FREE! GRAIL (NASA) Gravity And Interior Laboratory twin probes now circling Earth's moon.
FREE! GravLens Gravitational lensing astrophysical phenomenon, where light of a distant galaxy is bent by a massive foreground galaxy.
FREE! HubbleSite Space Telescope Science Institute presents a gallery of Hubble Space Telescope wallpapers and descriptions.
FREE! Hubble Space Telescope Planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies as catalogued by Edwin Hubble's namesake.
FREE! Hubble Top 100 
European Southern Observatory Hubble gallery, set to music, with descriptions.
$0.99  iMoonU
Moon phases calendars for any date, past, present or future; also, countdown clock for full moons.
FREE! Invisible Universe
Point your device at the sky and see the non-visible ranges as opposed to visible! Rare!
$0.99  iSolarScape
Location-based observatory for sun, moon, planets, asteroids and NASA missions.
FREE! iSpaceNews
NASA and ESA history, media, news and images.
International Space Station on-orbit status, tasks, news, arrivals, and departures.
FREE! ISS Detector Visibility of the International Space Station, weather conditions for sightings, detection of iridium flares, notifications, etc.
FREE! ISS Live (NASA) Live streaming data from the ISS, crew timelines, virtual 3-D tours of Mission Control Center (MCC) Houston with console displays, orbital science experiments, etc.
$8.99  iStellar HUGE Planisphere 1900-2099 with planets, stars that twinkle, constellations, eclipse sims, meteor showers, comet paths, Milky Way map, etc.
$2.99  Jupiter Atlas 3-D Globe images of planet Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, and Io.
$2.99  Kepler Professional astronomer-updated exoplanet database from NASA's Kepler mission, plus Milky Way map and correlation diagrams.
$0.99  Living Earth HD 3-D Earth globe with weather satellite updates, world clock, sunrise/sunset times, etc. GORGEOUS IMAGERY!!
FREE! L-Clock Launch Clock fetches data from and to create a formatted list of upcoming rocket launches.
$0.99  Lúan Lúan is an Old Irish Gaelic name for the moon; app shows Lunation tables per time zone, animated lunar transitions, moon and sun rising and setting times, etc.
$3.99  Luminous Planisphere and simulator, with data on celestial objects. Can be set up to match your sky or to show you the sky from any date or location.
FREE! Lunar Electric Rover
Simulator (NASA)

Drive on the moon! Support the activities of a functioning Lunar Outpost, using multiple difficulty levels in the most recently developed LER.
$5.99  Mars Atlas 3-D globe of planet Mars with zoomable terrain and labels.
FREE! Mars Globe High-Res Satellite maps of Mars with labels; aerial terrain, and also views from Rovers.
FREE! Mercury Atlas 3-D globe of planet Mercury with zoomable terrain and labels.
FREE! Messier List Images, data and positions of French Astronomer / Comet-Hunter Charles Messier's famed list of nebulae, clusters, galaxies, etc.
FREE! Meteor Shower Calendar Reminder system to automatically notify users about upcoming meteor showers, and approximate dates in which they will peak.
$3.99  Mobile Observatory Planisphere with point & view function, can be set for any location or date/time; solar system views, eclipses, sun rise & set times, moon phases, constellations, etc.
FREE! Moon Lunar phases, moonrises and sets, azimuth and altitude, and distance for current or or any other date.
$5.99  Moon Atlas 3-D globe of Earth's Moon satellite with zoomable terrain and labels.
FREE! Moon Globe 3-D views of the moon with labels and surface features from satellite imagery.
$1.99  MoonLight Lunar phases for any date, views of the moon from any location on Earth.
$0.99  Moon Phase Pro Lunar phases on a 3-D globe for any date, plus moon-phases calendar, syzygies, rises & sets, etc.
FREE! NASA Official NASA space agency App for Android.
FREE! NASA Official NASA space agency App for iPhone and iPod Touch.
FREE! NASA Be A Martian Mars maps, images, news, missions, Q&A for learning, alien avatars, etc. Open source project based on
FREE! NASA Desert RATS The Desert Research And Technology Studies virtual test site 3-D models with topography and satellite imagery to bring the Arizona analog environment to your device.  Navigate avatars around base camp to see field tests of NASA hardware, etc.
FREE! NASA Image Archive 60k+ images in five categories: Universe, Solar System, Earth, Aeronautics, Astronauts.
FREE! NASA News RSS NASA news-feed and headlines with links to information, NASA websites, etc.
FREE! NASA Now Regularly updated NASA news-feed the NASA Image Of The Day, and the latest from various NASA missions.
FREE! NASA Now Regularly updated NASA news-feed the NASA Image Of The Day, and the latest from various NASA missions.
$0.99 NASA Patches 200+ Hi-Res mission patches, one for every mission in NASA's 50-year history; also, database of info for every manned space trip from USA, Russia & China.
FREE! NASA SpaceCraft:
Space Shuttle
Photo gallery of NASA's Space Shuttle orbiter or Space Transportation System (STS).
FREE! NASA Space Weather Near real-time imagery from NASA missions, scientist interviews about space phenomena, and NASA-created space visualizations.
FREE! NASA Space Weather Near real-time imagery from NASA missions, scientist interviews about space phenomena, and NASA-created space visualizations.
FREE! NASA Television Live or on-demand TV programming from The NASA channel for Android (HD).
FREE! NASA Television Live or on-demand TV programming from The NASA channel for iPhone.
$1.99  Night Sketch Basic planisphere showing the sky above your device, where you can connect stars to create and share constellations.
$14.99  Oxford Astronomy The entire massive Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy: 4000+ entries on all aspects of galaxies compiled by 20+ experts.
FREE! Orbit Architect Change parameters of satellite orbits and then see animation of results; also, real-time ground tracking of sats.
$1.99  PlanetFacts Plus Catalog of images and information about the bodies in the solar system, including dwarf planets, with maps to show scale.
FREE! Planets Planishere Sky 2-D and 3-D switchable program which shows the location and orbital paths of planets, Sun & Moon with visibility information for your location. Constellations in the backdrop.
$0.99  Planisphere Shows zoomable sky above the phone or for any location; shows rise & set times, and star constellations.
$2.99  Pocket Universe: 
Virtual Sky
Planisphere with constellation outlines, lunar phases, planets in the solar system, moons of Jupiter and Saturn, with Q&A function.
FREE! Portal To The Universe Magazine style consolidator web site organized by ESO/IAU/ESA, showing scientific news and space items from the worlds observatories, agencies and educational institutions.
FREE! PrediSat Tracking of satellites (including the ISS), and iridium flares by device location and pointing. Alerts can be enabled when a particular sat passes.
$11.99  Redshift-Astronomy Most sophisticated planisphere available, showing the sky above your device, 3-D solar system, massive catalog of stars and celestial objects; also, deep space objects and scale flights to / around them.
FREE! Satellite AR Track satellites flying overhead by pointing device; augmented reality graphics will show orbital paths.
$2.99 Satellite FlyBys Satellites of all kinds, ISS, Hubble, agency space crafts, astronauts and cosmonauts on EVA in orbit; countdown clock to when items appear or events are scheduled.
$2.99 Satellite FlyBys Satellites of all kinds, ISS, Hubble, agency space crafts, astronauts and cosmonauts on EVA in orbit; countdown clock to when items appear or events are scheduled.
FREE! Satellite Insight (NASA) Critical real-time weather data from the GOES-R weather satellite in a game.
$0.99  Satellites NORAD and NASA tracking of the International Space Station (ISS) and other orbiting hardware.
FREE! SatTrack Tracking of commercial satellites, the ISS, amateur radio satellites and iridium flares by device location and pointing. Alerts can be enabled when a particular sat passes.
$2.99  Saturn Atlas 3-D globe of planet Saturn and its 7 largest moons, with surface features.
FREE! Shuttle Carrier Aircraft USAF and NASA photos of NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), the modified Boeing 747s used to transport the Space Shuttle Orbiters.
FREE! SkEye Planetarium Real time Alt-Azimuth and Equatorial coordinates, Messier objects, mini-NGC catalog, Alt-Azimuth, Equatorial grid, astronomy search function.
FREE! Sky Map Open source astronomy pointable app to find stars, planets, constellations, etc. for any date from any location.
$0.99 Sky Master Solar System simulator and planetarium of the sky at any time/date, based on your Earth location; planets, stars, constellations and galaxies.
$4.99 SkyQ Planisphere and multimedia sky guide from telescope manufacturer; audio tours, moon phases, planet & satellite positions, etc.
FREE! SkyOrb 3-D star map, 3D planetarium, ephemeris, search engine, solar clock, etc.
FREE! Sky Safari Planisphere showing sky above your device, catalog of thousands of celestial objects and renderings.
$14.99 Sky Safari Plus Planisphere showing 2.5 million stars, 31k deep sky objects, entire NGC/IC catalog, over 4,000 asteroids, comets, & satellites with updateable orbits.
$1.99 SkyView Explore Planisphere showing objects and descriptions based on device point; artificial satellite paths, 3D graphics, etc.
FREE! Solar Dynamics 
Observatory (NASA)
Video and high-resolution images of the Sun, solar atmosphere, and its affect on near-Earth objects from the NASA SDO satellite.
$0.99  Solar Max Latest Hi-Res images from the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SoHO) satellite.
$2.99  Solar Walk 3D Dynamic Solar System model you can fly through at any date, with movie mode and music (3-D TV option if you have 3-D glasses).
FREE! Solar System Explorer 3D trip through our solar system, featuring planets, moons, asteroids and space probes that have visited them. Great one for kids!
FREE!  Space Images for Android (NASA) Hundreds of images taken by NASA spacecraft studying planets, stars, galaxies, weather on Earth and more.
FREE! Space Images for iPhone (NASA) Hundreds of images taken by NASA spacecraft studying planets, stars, galaxies, weather on Earth and more.
$4.99  Space Junk Based on your , shows Earth view, planets, constellations and will track the Hubble Space Telescope, International Space Station, hundreds of satellites, etc.
FREE! Space Junk Lite Based on location, shows Earth view, planets, constellations and will track the Hubble, ISS, certain satellites, etc.
$1.61 Space News News items from NASA, ESA and other space agencies.
FREE! Space Sounds Sounds from NASA missions in space, for use as ringtones or notifications.
FREE! Star & Planet Finder Select a celestial object such as a star or planet, and app will help you find it using a pointer.
$2.99  Star Chart Based on your location, Planisphere app shows constellations, Moon, planets, etc.
FREE!  Star Chart Free Beginner location-based app showing stars, constellations, planets, etc.
$3.99  Star Charts Not for beginners! 18 extremely detailed charts based on atlas by famed celestial cartographer Wil Tirion.
$1.99  StarMap 3D Star atlas program for that shows the sky for your location and gives information for selected planets, stars, constellations, star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.
$11.99  Star Map High-quality Planisphere shows sky above device at any date; 350k+ catalogued stars, advice for astronomers on viewing locations, landscapes profiles; observation conditions, such as weather, light pollution sources; also calendars, animation, night vision mode, etc.
FREE! Star Odyssey Google Sky Map major stars with pronunciation guide, origin of star name, brightness and distance from Earth; also, integration with SkEye Planetarium. 
$0.99  Star Rover Planisphere app with point & view function for stars, moon phases, planets, etc.
$2.99  Star Walk Point and view planisphere which also includes satellite tracking, calendar, moon phases, plus the Astronomy Picture of the Day.
FREE! Stellarium Mobile version of the popular open-source planisphere program with constellation views and detailed professional data.
$2.99  SunDroid Pro Calculates path of Sun & Moon, all rises and sets, twilights, golden hours, etc. for any date, anywhere in the world.
FREE! Swift Explorer Swift Mission Operations Center at Penn State University shows NASA's search for gamma-ray bursts.
$2.99  Terra Time Real-time interactive Earth globe, showing day/night, weather via satellite data, seasons, lunar phases, twilight times, etc.
FREE! Three-D (3D) Sun Sun model based on NASA's STEREO spacecraft images with alerts for major updates or events such as solar flares.
FREE! Three-D (3D) Sun Sun model based on NASA's STEREO spacecraft images with alerts for major updates or events such as solar flares.
$2.99  Venus Atlas 3-D globe of Venus with 2000+ surface features; also shows the phase of Venus from your location.
FREE! Venus Transit For the transit of Venus occurring THIS YEAR on June 5–6, and it will be the last of your lifetime. (Next Venus transits are in 2117 and 2125.)
$0.99  What's Up Basic beginner app that shows location of Sun, Moon, and planets in the sky.
FREE! Where Is Io Current positions of the Galilean moons, rise and set times for planets, and information about solar system objects.
FREE! Where The ISS At? Current positions of the International Space Station, and passes over your refreshable location for the next 10 days. Set Twitter-friendly notifications to be alerted when the ISS is about to cross.
$4.99  Wolfram Astronomy Facts, formulas, and tools for helping with introductory astronomy;includes high-res diagrams with 100k stars, sky phenomena, Drake equation data, etc.
$4.33  Zenith Mobile Telescope Watch hundreds of stars, constellations, and solar system planets. Also, images of galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble Space Telescope. 


That's a big list!

One more: the moon in augmented reality!

Hi Larry, sorry I didn't reply until now. Somehow I didn't notice your comment before.

There are a few variables in predicting ISS passes. For instance, when is the sun considered low enough below your horizon for you to be able to see the ISS? And is the start of a pass timed from the moment it comes up from behind the horizon, or when it is at the minimum altitude (in our case, 11 degrees)?

A difference of two minutes is unusually big though, I think. If you see that again, let me know. It would be interesting to compare results in these cases. I have benchmarked our data to that of and those matched really well.

It could be the height. Twisst does not take the elevation of your location into account at the moment. I think our system uses a default of 20 meters. That could account for some difference.

Maybe the locations you enter at the different sites accounts for some difference too. Twisst geocodes the location in your Twitter profile. If that process results in slightly different coordinates than you use at the other sources, than you would expect a couple of seconds difference here and there.


Jaap, you may have answered this already, but I am wondering why I get diffierent information with nearly every site I check. I use the same geographical location, but when I compare your times (height and so on), other sites (the NASA Sighting Opportunities page, and Heavens Above), they are usually a little different by a minute or two (or a few degrees). I have not compared these to real sightings, but I am just curious why the sites would all have different times.