SkyView App

Trying out SkyView on my Android Phone

You probably asking yourself why I haven’t tried SkyView before. Well, I actually did, but because my iPad’s camera is so bad in low light and because I wanted to enjoy it at night, I didn’t use it a lot.

As you know, I’ve bought the OnePlus 6 Android phone a few weeks ago. One of the great things about the OnePlus 6 is that it has a very good rear-facing camera. By that, I mean that it ha a fast-aperture lens and sensitive sensor that lead to a much better low light capability compared to my iPad. I could have used it with my iPhone 5S, but it’s not good either (I show that in the video below).

So, I went out, climbed up the hill and tried to find a nice place where it’s relatively dark. In fact, the place where I was has an observatory. The problem is that there were quite a lot of clouds in the sky, and although it made the moonlight beautifully shine through through the clouds, it wasn’t an optimal day for watching the stars and using the app.

Now, of course, you can use this app in any time of the day, it doesn’t need to recognize the star visually, it uses GPS location and the orientation of the phone to position the augmented stars and other data on top of them.

SkyView is an augmented reality app that allows you to identify stars and other celestial objects around you. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the sky, because those celestial objects are all around us, some of them might be located (at the time of using the app) in a trajectory on the other side of planet Earth where you stand.

SkyView has many features, including the option to identify stars, constellations, planets, and satellites. You can view star’s trajectory, see viewing their location in future and past times, see their location in any time of the day, capture beautiful augmented shots and share them with others, use different view modes and get some information about each celestial objects and even install a widget that allows you to see upcoming celestial events.

Even with the current non-optimal night sky visibility, I was still able to detect some stars (especially the moon, wasn’t that hard) and educate myself about some of them. It’s actually the first time that I was able to see where Mars and Jupiter are located and just knowing that there where I was looking at made me excited. I remember a few years ago when I and my dad stood at the porch and watched the sky. My dad pointed me of some planets and I remember that I was really thrilled to know more about the universe. Since then I spent time watching more videos that teach about the cosmos and I still continue doing it until this day.

When you look at the sky, sometimes because you are used to it, it just seems like a nice painting, something that you used to see every day and you don’t give it much attention, maybe only to the sun when watching the sunset or the sunrise. Most of the time, it just seems static, but of course, the universe is massive, a home for billions of stars and endless cosmic events. This educational augmented reality (AR) app can be a motivator to encourage kids and adults to learn more about the universe and maybe appreciate more that beautiful night sky view when we take a walk at night or coming back from work.

There are places where the visibility is excellent and you can really see many stars in the sky. I was thinking about taking a trip to areas which are optimal for watching the stars. IT will probably be a place where there is a big observatory and far from the city lights.

Overall, it was a fascinating, relaxing and educational AR experience. I intend to use it more when I get out, hopefully, to catch a day with good star visibility or I’ll plan a little trip to a location where I can really benefit from using this app, one that is optimal for stargazing.

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