Heads up! Our line up of iPhone apps for astronomy has something for everyone, whether amateur or professional. These feature-packed apps truly give you the sun, the moon, and the stars! Find out what is overhead in any starscape, or get the app to show you where in the sky to view a particular heavenly body. Check the forecasting apps to ensure weather will hold for stargazing, and never miss a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event with customized alerts.
The best iPhone apps for Astronomy
27 Jun 2017, by Cherry Mae Torrevillas
SkyView® Free is an award-winning augmented reality astronomy app. Download the app to your phone and point it at the sky to reveal and identify points of interest in the heavens. The app will tell you when the ISS or Hubble is about to pass over, get identification for constellations and galaxies, and know for certain what that mysterious bright object is! Features include notifications for celestial events, and tracking the daily path of the Sun or Moon in the sky. Once the app identifies the celestial object of your interest, tap to open a screen where you can learn more about it.
- Augmented reality astronomy app
- Point it to the sky and identify constellations
- Locate ISS and Hubble
- Notifications about celestial events
- Free iPhone app for astronomy
When you can’t see the sky for the clouds, you know that weather is a very important factor for stargazing. iCSC: Clear Sky Chart Viewer will help you determine where and when to look up for best results. This app features a 48-hour forecast for star gazing, with over 4600 charts for North America. Charts provide all the information you need to make an informed stargazing plan, including cloud cover, darkness, wind, temperature and more. Search by location, title, or use a map. Tap to save and keep high frequency charts for future reference.
- Weather app for astronomers
- 48-hour forecast
- 4600 charts for North America
- Make informed decision about where and when to stargaze
- Free iPhone app for astronomy
Star Walk won an Apple Design Award in 2010 and boasts 10 million users. Users can point their device at the sky, and a star map will appear on the screen, showing the user exactly what is above their head. Points of interest are immediately identified, so you can easily find them in the sky. If you move your device, the map will seamlessly change to reflect your new position. Once you know what you’re looking at, you can tap to remove the map and see the real sky. Switch to night vision to reduce eye strain. Check the calendar to stay informed about upcoming celestial events.
- Award-winning design
- Point at the sky and see what’s overhead
- Tap to remove map and use camera view
- Night vision reduces eye strain
- Calendar of upcoming celestial events
This is an exciting app for all fans of astronomy. It’s all about space weather and has many great features to make this a fun experience. Set push notifications, real-time solar status, over 50 real-time measurements and reports, real-time web cam images, get locations of satellites in real-time, UV index maps, view the earth from space in real-time, beautiful animations and artwork, images of the aurora oval in real-time, movies of the sun and so much more. This app is unique enough to carve out a niche on your iDevice even if you already have other astronomy apps.
- Cool astronomy app about Space Weather
- Real-time images, reports, solar status
- Real-time satellite locations, View earth from space
- Fantastic animations and artwork, Videos of the sun
- Images of Aurora Oval, UV Index maps
Pocket Universe Express is a real-time view of a virtual sky. As you move, the app updates to show you thousands of celestial objects overhead. With this free download, you can expect to get the night sky view, which is enough to give you an idea of the quality of this app. Although this version is not full-featured; you can get that with a $2.99 in-app purchase. Free version features include an orrery to show planetary orbits and additional information on the objects in sight. Users can customize the view to include as many or as few points of celestial interest as preferred.
- Real-time view of virtual sky
- Updates as you move device
- Free version includes night sky view
- Orrery for planetary locations
- Customize view
Luminos is an award-winning app, and a gem for serious astronomers and amateurs alike. Users can customize and download star catalogs with the largest library available for mobile. The app even works with your Apple Watch. The app includes everything you could possibly want to know about the heavens including the distance of a star in parsecs. Interactive features include the ability to zoom, orbit, or land a rover on a virtual planet, or get a 360-degree virtual view of a satellite. You can even zoom right out of the galaxy and virtually view our solar system from afar.
- Customize and download star catalogs
- Works with Apple Watch
- Zoom or orbit virtual planet
- Explore satellites
- View virtual solar system
Planets has been downloaded 10 million times, so there’s gotta be something out there. Use it to locate a planet with a 2D view of the sky, or change to planetarium style, and get a 3D view of the sky. Features include a visibility screen that will show users which heavenly bodies can be seen from a particular location and when. All planets have image maps that can be viewed with a 3D rotation. The designers haven’t forgotten to include the Earth’s humble moon, which is particularly nice, as it is easiest to reliably see. This app is value-packed, and free!
- Visibility screen
- 3D rotating image maps
- 2D sky view option
- 3D planetarium view option
- Free astronomy app for iPhone
Space, Astronomy & NASA News is a dedicated news feed that provides users with coverage of everything space and astronomy related. Features prioritized feed with unique articles. Users can set notifications to alert as to important stories or key issues. The newsfeed can be customized to show only topics of interest, and users can tap “more coverage” to access different sources on the any topic. Tap “read later” to save article for later reference. Users can comment on articles within the app and thereby interact with other users, and set display preferences to collapse headlines for easy skimming.
- Dedicated space and astronomy newsfeed
- Set alerts to keep track of important topics
- Customize newsfeed
- Save articles for future reference
- Free for iPhone
StarMap 3D+ harnesses the power of your iPhone to enable users to keep an interactive star atlas right in their pocket. Use the app to locate a particular heavenly body or celestial object, or have it tell you what you’re gazing at. Learn about deep sky objects, and find out how (astonishingly) far away they are. Choose between Classic or MacRobert constellations and select Planetarium Mode to restrict the display only to objects currently overhead; turn it off to view the entire cosmos. Users seeking more information can tap to open a dedicated page for an object and get additional information about it.
- Interactive star atlas
- Planetarium mode
- Find an object in the sky
- Classic or MacRobert constellations
- Dedicated pages for celestial objects
SkySafari 5 Plus is a space simulator packed with features. Start with tonight at a glance, to find out what is currently overhead. Hold it up to the sky and watch the star chart populate in real-time. Set the date into the past or future and see what historical stargazing looked like. Search the database to find an object and the app will lead you to its virtual location. Features include night vision, to reduce eye strain after dark. Select Time Flow to get a quick simulation of how selected objects move over time.
- Space simulator
- Find out what’s overhead
- Locate an object in the night sky
- Night vision reduces eye strain
- See quick simulation celestial objects move over time