• Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps in 2020 (Cosmic Watch, Star Walk 2, and More)

If your life has become dull, routine, and monotonous, then you may need to reconnect with your heavenly origin by doing some stargazing! Ah, but you live in the city and can’t see so many stars, you say? Well, then it's time to become acquainted with some amazing apps that have been developed for stargazing. These can even enhance the experience for those who can't see so much due to light pollution or a blocked view.


Don’t let lack of knowledge on astronomy discourage you from indulging in the joy of the observation of celestial bodies. Most of these genius-designed apps will allow you to just install and point at the sky to immediately begin identifying and learning about whatever your night sky offers you on any given day. Our best overall stargazing app is Cosmic Watch, which is impressive enough to blow away even the most advanced users. Check out nine other great options and tips on how to choose a stargazing app on your own!

  • Last updated: 10-05-2020
  • 315 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Stargazing Apps

The following, we believe, are the best stargazing apps available. Many of them have quite an original angle on the way the app approaches stargazing, not to mention there are original features or areas of excellence that each one excels in.

1
In-app purchasesNo
Night visionNo
MusicNo
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars databaseNot stated
2
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicYes
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars database2.5 million with subscription
3
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicYes
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars databaseNot stated
4
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicYes
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars databaseNot stated
5
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicNo
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars database600,000 to 1.6 billion
6

Ecliptical AppsAstrolapp

$2.00

In-app purchasesNo
Night visionYes
MusicNo
Augmented realityNo
Time travelYes
High-resolutionNo
Stars database9,096
7
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicYes
Augmented realityLittle
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars database130 million
8

Wolfgang ZimaMobile Observatory

$5.00

In-app purchasesNo
Night visionYes
MusicNo
Augmented realityNo
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars database450,000
9
In-app purchasesNo
Night visionYes
MusicNo
Augmented realityNo
Time travelYes
High-resolutionNo
Stars databaseComplete NGC IC catalog
10
In-app purchasesYes
Night visionYes
MusicYes
Augmented realityYes
Time travelYes
High-resolutionYes
Stars database8,000+

Compare the Best Stargazing Apps

Image
1
Celestial Dynamics Ltd. Cosmic Watch 1

Celestial Dynamics Ltd.

2
USM Education Redshift Sky Pro 1

USM Education

3
Vito Technology Star Walk 2 1

Vito Technology

4
Terminal Eleven Sky View 1

Terminal Eleven

5
Noctura Software Stellarium 1

Noctura Software

6
Ecliptical Apps Astrolapp 1

Ecliptical Apps

7
Simulation Curriculum Corp. Sky Safari 6 1

Simulation Curriculum Corp.

8
Wolfgang Zima Mobile Observatory 1

Wolfgang Zima

9
Harshad RJ SkEye 1

Harshad RJ

10
PyoPyo Studio Star Tracker 1

PyoPyo Studio

Name

Cosmic Watch

Redshift Sky Pro

Star Walk 2

Sky View

Stellarium

Astrolapp

Sky Safari 6

Mobile Observatory

SkEye

Star Tracker

Features

Breaks the Mold and Takes it to The Next Level

Land on Any Planet and See the Sky from There

Immersive, Intuitive User Interface With Beautiful Graphics

An Award-Winning Stargazing App

View the Night Sky the Way Other Ancient Cultures Did

Instantly Feel Like a Professional Astronomer

Travel 10,000 Years into the Sky of the Past or Future

A Highly Detailed Astronomy App Made by a Professional Astronomer

Get All the Basic Functions of a Quality Stargazing App for Free

Beautiful Augmented Reality Stargazing Experience

Price$6.00$8.99$2.99$3.00$2.99$2.00$2.99$5.00$0.00$0.00
In-app purchasesNoYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNoYes
Night visionNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
MusicNoYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNoYes
Augmented realityYesYesYesYesYesNoLittleNoNoYes
Time travelYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
High-resolutionYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoYes
Stars databaseNot stated2.5 million with subscriptionNot statedNot stated600,000 to 1.6 billion9,096130 million450,000Complete NGC IC catalog8,000+
Link

How to Choose a Stargazing App - Buying Guide

Chances are if you're reading this that you love stargazing or have a desire to learn. If you're hesitating to try out a great app to help you study the night sky due to lack of confidence regarding your astronomy knowledge, don’t be!


Many of these apps are created to make the whole process a breeze and turn you into a pro astronomer in a matter of moments - or at least make you feel like one.

Think About How You Want to Use the App

Think About How You Want to Use the App

Which app is best for you will depend on how deep you would like to go with stargazing. If you're interested only in identifying and finding basic stars, planets, and constellations, then you need only get a simple app that does its job well, such as Sky View or Star Tracker.


If you're interested in using a stargazing app for more advanced purposes like syncing it to your telescope or studying the changes of the celestial bodies throughout history by "time travel," then you'll need a solid app that easily handles such tasks such as Mobile Observatory or Skeye Pro Version.

Look for Great Features That Come With the Upgraded Versions

Look for Great Features That Come With the Upgraded Versions

A free version of a good program like Sky Safari may be satisfactory if you only want to dabble a little in stargazing every now and then.


However, many reviewers note that most of these programs became significantly better after they upgrade, offering larger celestial databases, advanced features that thoroughly enhanced their stargazing experience and the freedom from ads or additional annoyances. 

Look for Great Features That Come With the Upgraded Versions

Some of these stargazing apps have no free version and are paid only. But it would be a shame to overlook those wonderful apps. If you have a real interest in having some amazing stargazing experiences, then it might be worth checking out some of the paid stargazing apps as well.


On average, the price is somewhere between $2.99 and $10. Serious stargazers should probably go with the upgrade rather than the free version.

Decide Whether Graphics and Music are Important to You

Decide Whether Graphics and Music are Important to You

There are some beautifully designed programs out there with some really cool background music soundtracks to enhance your stargazing experience.


It's not that these qualities are empty, because they sure are nice. However, some of the most well-designed and precise stargazing apps we have seen actually were lacking in the graphics and music department.  


That being said, there are more than a few apps that have both high-definition graphics and a well developed user interface. Just be aware that you cannot judge a stargazing app based on its graphics or music.  

Consider a Stargazing App That Can Function Offline

Consider a Stargazing App That Can Function Offline

Many of the stargazing apps can serve as 3-D planetariums. If you're using it for this casual purpose, then an app that relies on an internet connection is fine.


But if the app is being used to explore the night sky for serious stargazing, then it's very important that it doesn’t need access to the Internet in order to function properly. Most quality stargazing apps nowadays can function offline, but not all of them.


Some apps will work offline, but lose access to certain databases and information pools; this may be acceptable but could be a bit inconvenient.

Start With Simpler Stargazing App Functions

Although these stargazing apps have, in most cases, been quite simplified for the sake of user-friendliness, the subject matter can still be quite complex.


Having functions like a click-and-find search tool or an information base that can lead you by the hand when you get confused will make it much more enjoyable to study the heavens if you are inexperienced.

A Powerful Search Function Will Make Your Stargazing Easier

A Powerful Search Function Will Make Your Stargazing Easier

The very best search functions for these apps will give you both a “click and search list” of celestial bodies as well as a manual input bar to ask what you're looking for. Many have only one of those and some have neither.


In addition to this, a really good app will put a search arrow on the screen where you view the sky and point in the direction that you should move your device in order to find your target celestial body.

Your Stargazing App Should be Like a Good Field Astronomy Teacher

Your Stargazing App Should be Like a Good Field Astronomy Teacher

Just think of a really good stargazing app as a guide that you hire to teach you about the stars and show you where in the night sky you can find things. Not every teacher you had in school was effective at connecting with you and teaching you well even though some other kids may have thought they were.


The bottom line is, if you aren’t learning a lot from your chosen app without much effort, then you should move on and find another app. There are some really excellent stargazing apps out there, so choose one or two that are intuitive for you and point out a lot of info in an easily digestible manner for you to learn.


Don’t hesitate to play with more than one stargazing app at a time, too, because some of them have unique functions like the “ancient star lore mode” in Stellarium or the “astro clock” of Cosmic Watch.

Don't Forget to Calibrate Your Device

Don't Forget to Calibrate Your Device

There were several users who quickly uninstalled and brushed off some excellent stargazing apps just because it didn’t seem to match up with the night sky they were looking at. In other situations, the display kept spinning and wouldn’t stabilize, so the reviewers unfairly rated the app as garbage.


Perhaps the most important factor in making sure a stargazing app works properly is that the internal compass of your device is properly calibrated and is reading the directions accurately. 

Don't Forget to Calibrate Your Device

The easiest and most common way to do this is by moving your device in a figure-eight pattern, which will re-calibrate your device. You can also manually calibrate it by lining the stars on the screen up with the ones you see in the sky.


Also, there are websites to check your calibration; just do a search to find and use one and make sure you're properly aligned. The last important factor to make sure of is that there are no magnetic strips on or near your device, as this will definitely make the app misbehave.

Want to Gaze at the Stars in Comfort?

Want to Gaze at the Stars in Comfort?

If you'll be doing your stargazing while camping, you should check out some of our other lists. These products can help you fully enjoy your celestial trip!

Summary

If you love the stars and the mystery of the night sky and haven't yet tried a stargazing app, then we highly recommend you wait no longer. You'll surely be impressed with several of the well-designed stargazing apps available today. Even if you aren’t necessarily a star lover, there's a good chance one of these apps will make you one.


Author: Eric Justin


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