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Dave Spencer’s APP-solute Favorite Apps: #1–Google Sky Map

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I confess. My college astronomy class was an easy B+. I had a professor who wasn’t really all that into it, so she’d just hand out study guides each week. Every test came straight off those guides. And, just like that, I had a good grade in a science course requirement.

But I took the class because it sounded interesting. I just wish I’d had a more motivated instructor. Well, now, thanks to Google Sky Map, I am my own instructor. I love this thing.

If you don’t have this app on your phone, download it. It’s free. Then head out in the country on a clear night and point your device toward any star or group of stars you see. Google Sky Map will identify stars and constellations–even those really obscure ones you can never find.

It also identifies planets. Lately, Venus has been staying very close the moon while Jupiter seems to come and go. And, how cool is this?!? If you’re in Google Sky Map and you point your device straight down, it will tell you the constellations, stars, and planets that can be seen on the other side of the world!

I don’t know how important that information is to us, but it is really cool! Google Sky Map also offers a gallery of all the planets, nebulae, clusters, anything in space really, and tells you where you can find them using your mobile device. The Time Travel function allows you to know the time of the next sunset or sunrise and the next full moon. I love this thing. I can’t wait til it gets dark!

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