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Want To See Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon? There's An App For That

by Blogger on ‎02-29-2012 01:46 PM - last edited on ‎02-29-2012 01:52 PM by Retired Moderator

This week has been pretty cool for stargazers as a triple conjunction has happened in the western sky.  Venus, Jupiter and the Moon have been in alignment since the weekend and will continue to hang out together in the sky for the next week.


"Venus, Jupiter and the slender crescent moon are lining up in the western sky, forming a bright triangle in the evening twilight," says astronomer Tony Phillips of "These three objects are so bright, they shine through thin clouds and even city lights."


If you're not totally sure where to look, there are many skywatching apps to help you find your way across the stars.

skyview.jpgSkyview is a free augmented reality app that uses your iPhone's camera to line up with the stars in the sky to help you find constellations and the names of the stars.  While it was great for stars, I found it a little difficult when it came to labelling the actual planets.


starwalk.jpgWhile not having augmented reality, I found Star Walk  [$2.99] to be a better app to help me find the planets.  Another cool feature was watching the International Space Station float across my screen (it was still twilight, so I couldnt actually see the ISS in the evening sky).


Both apps have overlays of constellations that float in and out when your phone hovers over one.  You can spot Aries, Pisces, and more.  Star Walk also goes into detail about each star or planet and can give you a nightly run down of the star show you can expect to see.


If you want to see a cool show, (Mars and Mercury will also be floating through this week) grab one of these apps and get out of the bright lights of the city to go planet spotting.

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