Unlock the constellations of the night sky with a smartphone app, but choose carefully – some travel better than others
Find your bearings
Where’s the Milky Way? What about the Summer Triangle? Can I see any planets? With a little help from your smartphone, these and other questions become easy to answer as you find your bearings and transform your understanding of Earth’s ever-changing view of the solar system and beyond.
Hold your phone up to the sky and your smartphone’s compass and GPS will present a ‘live’ view of what’s in front of you, but do make sure you engage the red ‘night vision’ mode on the app to prevent the white glare from your smartphone from damaging your dark adapted eyes.
It’s also worth spending £40 on a pair of 10×50 binoculars for a proper close-up, though beginners should swerve a telescope for a few months; they’re less about stargazing and more about astronomy, so wait until you’re properly hooked before investing.