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May 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Hicks in Dispatch | Stargazing Apps Help Bring Universe to Your Smartphone

Dr. Kenneth Hicks, portrait

Dr. Kenneth Hicks

Dr. Kenneth Hicks, Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Ohio University, authored a column in the Columbus Dispatch headlined “Stargazing apps can help bring the universe to your smartphone.”

I suspect that many readers already know about the impressive software for stargazing that can be downloaded to most smartphones. To find it, just do a Google search on “stargazing apps” to find reviews of free software. The apps make it easier to find constellations on a clear summer night.

The best stargazing can be done away from the city lights, such as at a highway rest stop on a vacation trip or perhaps on a camping trip. Even some suburban backyards are sufficiently dark to see many constellations, such as Orion or the Big Dipper.

The new apps are especially popular with children, some of whom are very attached to their phones and have spent more time looking at a computer screen than looking at the night sky! All they need to do is point their phone’s camera at the sky and the screen will show which constellation they’ve found. It’s a great way to learn the constellations, even if only a few of the brightest stars in that constellation are visible in your backyard….

Read more in the Dispatch.

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