Mike's NBC-TV stories

Star Gazing Apps

If you’ve ever looked up at the starry, starry night and wished you could know more about what you’re looking at, you’re in luck.

A number of stargazing apps can make it happen by delivering a map to the sky in the palm of your hand.

Star Chart identifies what you’re seeing by having you simply point your smartphone or tablet camera at the sky and look at your screen. It displays info to help you understand more about bright galaxies, nebula, star clusters, and more. The app is free for iOS and Android with in-app purchases available.

Celestron SkyPortal has data on more than 120,000 stars, more than 200 star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and dozens of asteroids, comets, and satellites, even the International Space Station. It provides a custom list of best objects to see based on your location and the exact time. Iyt’s free for iOS and Android.

Star Walk has info on 200,000 celestial objects. Point it at the sky and move it around to get instant information about stars, planets, satellites, constellations, and more. The app’s Night Mode makes it easy on the eyes, too. It even works with Apple Watch to alert you of upcoming astronomical events. The app is $4.99 for iOS, $2.99 for Android and Kindle Fire, and $2.49 for Windows Phone.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.