Can spend hours at night looking skyward? Can you impress your friends, loved ones, or even a date or two with what you can point out?  Better yet, are you even willing to traveling in order to escape light pollution and get a better view of a scheduled astronomical event? Yup. You’re an astronomy nerd.

At this point, your hobby and a couple of carefully selected books probably have taught you a lot, but you may want to take your knowledge further. We’ve got some apps that can help. They can increase your knowledge of the heavens and help you view rare astronomical occurrences as they happen.

Sky View

Like many other stargazing apps, this tool is an augmented reality app that matches what is in your phone camera’s lens with the stars, constellations, and satellites that know are there based on the information in its database. It is one of the most popular, easy to use apps available, the perfect tool to help you connect what you think you’re looking at with what is there with a minimum of fuss. It will also help you see if there are other constellations that you could be missing. Available in both free and $1.99 versions for iOS, Google, and Android. 

Stellarium

This app prides itself on having one of the most in-depth bases on knowledge of starscapes that is out there and is a great choice for a more advanced stargazer. While it allows you to point your phone to the sky and access information on what you’re seeing it goes a step further in terms of the quantity of information it offers. How so? The software for this app tracks more than 600,000 stars and other celestial features. Available for a low cost for Android and iOS

NASA Apps

What better source for space-focused apps could there be than a set of space-focused tools produced by the agency that helped pioneer exploration beyond The Earth’s atmosphere? These group of apps combines information about stars and exploration with up-close views from satellites, the International Space Station, and the Hubble telescope. Tools can also help you keep track of upcoming launches, track space junk, download stunning space photography, access in-depth knowledge about space features and celestial bodies, and more. Available for iOS, Google, and Android.

Star Walk 2

This is a beautifully designed app with a pleasing interface paired with calming music. As you open the app it will show you the current version of the night sky that is based on your location at the time. Users simply tap objects they see in the night sky to get a more detailed description of what they’re looking at. A valuable bonus, however, is the app’s ability to show what that same celestial feature will look like over time. The app has multiple versions for iOS and Android, both paid and free.

Night Sky Lite

This app pairs its augmented reality features with other information that stargazers are going to want. These include connections to other astronomy buffs who can suggest great stargazing locations or events and it even has a built-in place to check the weather so that you’ll know if night conditions are optimal for what you want to see. The app is free and is available for Android

Bonus App: Planetarium

There are so many great apps out there that listing five just wasn’t enough. Here’s a bonus app who’s best feature is that it is so easy to use. It also works from any angle (not just portrait or landscape) and has a built-in compass so that you can track where you’re looking. Available for free on iOS devices.