Stargazing or star tracking apps transform the view you look at the night sky. The night view of the sky is the thing that has the power to fascinate almost anyone.
It feels mesmerizing to gaze at the sky, especially at night, and witness the movement of stars and the moon. The beauty of the night sky enhances the passion for astrophotography in people.
What is Astrophotography?
Astrophotography is also known as astronomical imaging. It is the photography of astronomical objects like stars, moon, celestial events, and objects that appear in the night sky. Professional astronomical photographers use high-end cameras with telescopes to capture the deep night sky.
You might have seen many people love to share night sky shots on their social media channels. Instagram is full of astronomical images. A few such Instagram profiles include vanishingphotons, alexistrigot, the_ita_moon, etc.
The images these people take can inspire anyone to do such extraordinary work. However, the question that comes to mind is whether one can do it without a high-end camera budget. The answer is, Yes. Thanks to the new age, smartphones have resounding camera quality with support for innovative apps.
Best Devices for Astrophotography
Some devices are capable of taking incredible astrophotography shots, which are as follows:
These devices eliminate the need to spend on expensive astrophotography cameras.
A reliable camera and a good processing app are the two crucial components of astrophotography. A good smartphone must need the best star tracker app for night photography.
If you are interested in astrophotography, let’s explore the best apps you can try for taking night sky photographs.
Apps for Android
Star Tracker – Mobile Sky Map
This Star Tracker android app lets you explore and locate stars, planets, and constellations. You can locate all the deep sky objects and capture the movement instantly. This application also works offline. It can fit the screen size from 3.5 to 12.9 inches for any resolution.
With this app, you can see the sun, moon, some planets in the solar system, over 8000 stars, and 88 constellations. The high-quality graphic display makes your astrophotography exceptional. You can also enjoy the pro version of this app to unlock many more exciting features.
Stellarium Mobile – Star Map for Android
Stellarium Mobile is a night sky tracking app that lets you explore the most realistic sky anytime. You need to point your phone to the sky, which will detect the object for you.
It lets you learn the constellations and explore the satellite that passes overhead. You can zoom in on satellites and planets and capture sky images. It enables you to discover the 3D rendering of various solar system planets. This application can be installed on Android version 6.0 and later.
Sky Map app works as a planetarium which is hand-held for your Android device. You can utilize this application for detecting stars, nebulae, planets, and more. Originally it was developed as Google Sky Map. But now, it has been donated to the open source community.
SkyView® Lite app eliminates the need to purchase a professional telescope or camera as it guides you in exploring the locations of the sky objects, star constellations, planets, and more. It features green and red night modes that help you preserve your night vision.
This feature lets you time travel and jumps to any sky of any date and time in the past or future. You can directly share the images you capture using this app on social media.
Star Walk 2 Ads+ Sky Map View
Star Walk 2 is a wonderful astronomy guide that helps you locate and identify the sky during the day and at night. Using this app, you can easily identify stars, constellations, asteroids, satellites, comets, and other objects.
You need to point your smartphone to the sky, and the whole set of objects will be disclosed. It also lets you explore even deep space objects. This application, although free to download, however, offers in-app purchases.
Star Tracker: Night Sky Map
Star Tracker is another good astrophotography app that helps you detect the Planetarium quickly. It showcases a 3D model of the solar system. This tracker also enables you to explore 3D spacecraft and space exploration models. It features an astronomical calendar to let you know about various celestial events.
Star Tracker offers you the best 3D simulation of space and lets you take exceptional photographs of space objects. It also contains a ‘what’s new’ section that lets you stay tuned about the latest astronomical news and updates.
Sky Tonight – Star Gazer Guide
Vito Technology presents this astrophotography app Sky Tonight. It is one of the recently launched apps designed to help you explore the sky.
You can find the real-time locations of the space objects by just pointing your device to the sky. The time machine that it features lets you identify the positions of the celestial bodies at different dates and times.
With this app, you can easily filter the sky objects as per the visual brightness. It also helps you stay updated about the latest news and events.
By tapping on the object, you can explore detailed information about it. Its astronomical calendar lets you know about various celestial events and weather forecasts.
Apps for iPhone
Capture unique sky moments with this iPhone app PhotoPills. It lets you easily turn your imaginative Sun, Moon, stars, and Milky Way into real pictures.
It has several location scouting tools and information about sunrise/sunset, blue hour, golden hour, etc. Its calculators let you calculate long exposure, spot stars, timelapse, hyperfocal table, FoV, DoV, etc.
Sky Guide lets you see stars in the sky with AR and identify constellations, plan for celestial events, etc. Its AR mode superimposes different figures in the real sky, thus letting you visualize the fascinating moments easily.
It helps you detect the solar system and comes up with information-rich graphics. Time travel lets you see the sky in the past and future. The perfect photos that you capture can be a sensation on social media. It can work with or without cellular service, Wi-Fi, or GPS.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is the perfect iPhone application that lets you plan outdoor shoots in natural light. It consists of a map-centric Moon, Sun, and Milky Way calculator. This calculator helps see how light will fall on a specific location on the earth.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris has a set of tools for all of your star tracking needs. Whether you want current photos of space objects or past or future locations of these, everything is possible with this app.
Its night mode lets you have a 3D representation of all the space objects. Its advanced features include automatic time zone, elevation detection, Sun and Moon search, and more.
Stellarium Mobile – Star Map iPhone Version
Stellarium Mobile is a planetarium app for iPhone that lets you identify stars, planets, constellations, comets, and more sky objects. Its user interface is ideal for adults as well as children. With this app, you can see accurate sky simulations at night.
It lets you zoom in on various deep-sky objects. You can discover the life of people in other locations on the earth.
It helps you track artificial satellites and stimulate the atmosphere with atmosphere refraction, Sunset, Sunshine, etc. With this, you can discover the 3D rendering of solar system planets.
Light Pollution Map – Dark Sky
Light Pollution Map lets you locate the dark sky conveniently, thus having the best observation of space objects. It includes features such as a local temperature indicator, cloud coverage indicator, cloud cover overlay, moon information, darkness countdown, sky-event calendar, etc.
It offers notifications about the lunar eclipse, meteor shower, Local Aurora Borealis, Global Aurora Borealis, etc.
Its maps feature lets you navigate to your saved locations. With its in-app purchases, you can upgrade to a pro version and enjoy advanced features.
If you are a nature lover and want to enjoy and showcase the beauty of the night sky, these apps can perfectly work with your smartphones. You can capture exceptional quality images of space objects with these apps.
Saptak is a tech writer, working as a Senior Content writer at Geekflare. He has 4 years of experience and has expertise in writing Digital Marketing, Developing Businesses, Smart Gadgets, Gaming, and many more niches. He holds a B. Tech degree… read more
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