Amateur astromers, alert: two different iOS astronomy apps are on sale right now in the App Store.
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First up is Distant Suns. There are two different versions, Distant Suns 2 and Distant Suns 3. According to Both are supposed to be on sale through Cyber Monday 2011, but it doesn’t seem as though Distant Suns 2 is priced correctly. Right now Distant Suns 2 is priced at $5.99 in the App Store, while Distant Suns 3 is priced at $3.99 (normally $9.99).
Distant Suns 2 had been $0.99 on sale; we’ve sent a message to the developers since their site clearly says both apps should still be on sale.
Update: it was a mistake, and has now been fixed.
Distant Suns 3 is described as follows:
Sporting a database of over 130,000 stars, along with nebula and galaxies, Distant Suns has earned the reputation of both having one of the most realistic displays of the night sky, while being one of the easiest to use astronomy programs available for the most casual sky watchers and serious astronomers alike.
- Compass aware for the 3GS level machines and above, and the iPad. Just aim and identify.
- Over 130,000 pinpoint stars scintillating like diamond dust in the palm of your hand
- Realistic ghostly band of the Milky Way
- All 88 constellations with images and articles on their mythology
- Preference panel to change the way stars are rendered in over a dozen different ways.
- The Messier catalog of galaxies, nebula and star clusters
- Dozens of photos from the Hubble Space Telescope
- All 8 planets (Pluto is optional)
- GPS aware
- Red interface to preserve your night vision
- What’s Up? Gives a quick one snapshot overview of where all of the important stuff is
- Landscape panoramas from observatories to ancient Greek ruins
- Easy one-handed operation.
- Point and Identify mode reveals a wealth of hidden data for each star, planet or deep-sky object
- Planetary data and information
Why settle for eye-candy when you can settle for mind-candy?
Meanwhile, developer Southern Stars has cut the prices on its SkySafari line of products, through Dec. 8. In addition, 40 percent of proceeds during this time will be donated to Astronomers Without Borders.
SkySafari comes in three flavors, SkySafari 3 is sale priced at $0.99; it’s regularly $2.99. This is the basic version of SkySafari 3, which has 120,000 stars, along with 220 of the best-known star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
SkySafari 3 Plus, normally priced at $14.99, is $11.99. In addition to the functionality of the basic vesion, the Plus version adds expands the database greatly, and adds wired and wireless telescope control. Telescope control requires Southern Stars’ SkyFi or SkyWire accessories.
SkySafari 3 Pro is $29.99 during the sale; it’s normally $59.99.
Here’s how SkySafari 3 is described in the App Store:
SkySafari 3 Pro has the largest database of any astronomy app, period. It weighs in at half a gig, and contains over 15.3 million stars from the Hubble Guide Star catalog, plus 740,000 galaxies down to 18th magnitude, and over 550,000 solar system objects – including every comet and asteroid ever discovered. Yet it runs just as fast and smoothly as our basic version.
SkySafari 3 Pro can point your GoTo or “Push-To” telescope anywhere in the sky, using your iPhone/iPad/iPod’s built-in WiFi, and our SkyFi or SkyWire serial accessories.
SkySafari 3 Pro accurately shows you the sky from any place on Earth, at any time up to a million years in the past or future. It includes 1100 encyclopedic descriptions of the constellations, stars, and planets written by professional astronomers. And it contains over 800 images from NASA space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the world’s foremost astro-photographers.
If you have an iPhone/iPad with a compass, or an iPod Touch with a gyroscope, SkySafari Pro can help you identify stars and planets by holding your phone next to them. Tap the Compass/Gyro button (or shake your phone) to activate the compass – now, as you move the phone around, the sky chart follows your motion. Search for any object in the sky, and follow the arrow on screen to find it!
SkySafari has a “Night” button to preserve your dark adaptation as you’re exploring the night sky. The Time Flow feature lets you animate the night sky using simple VCR controls – follow the motion of the stars and planets as SkySafari compresses days, months, and years into a few seconds.
SkySafari 3 Pro includes SkyWeek – the mobile version of Sky & Telescope Magazine’s super-popular “Sky at a Glance” column. SkyWeek features interactive sky charts for each day of the week, and links to more articles on S&T’s website. SkyWeek shows you all major sky events: eclipses, conjunctions, good meteor showers — miss nothing!
SkySafari Pro’s streamlined user interface puts the universe at your fingertips – and turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into a 21st-century telescope controller. SkySafari is your celestial travel guide!
Head over to the App Store while they’re still on sale. Pick your astronomy app of choice.