Every so often I install an app on my phone – tonight the NASA App joined Google Sky Map on my home screen. An hour exploring, playing and navigating concludes it was a wise decision. Without question, one of the niftiest free apps around. Anyone harboring the slightest space geek should take a peek.

The latest news, images, links to outstanding NASA Science Casts, interactive videos on topics from astrobiology to satellite movie shows – anywhere, anytime, any place.

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Screen shot of satellite images as art.

If apps aren’t your thing – check out NASA Science Casts and Earth Now on your home computer.

Cosmic Apps

There’s no excuse for not adding a sky app to your phone – free, idiot proof tools capable of turning heads upwards with childlike enthusiasm. Embrace unfamiliar cosmic dioramas, dazzle friends and family, enrich your perspective with a sense of wonder, or simply figure out once and for all which one is Jupiter, which one Venus.

Android phone apps have been around longer than anything “i”. My phone has Sky Map, and real time images of the Sun from Solar Dynamics Observatory. Free, reliable android apps linked below

Once upon a time iPhone users were out of luck – linked below, free cosmic apps for iphone or pad.

What are you waiting for?

Notes “star gazing” with Google Sky Map

Gamma Delphinids

June 11, 1930 – Maryland; three members of the American Meteor Society reported seeing an incredibly bright meteor shower. It wasn’t the kind of evening a self respecting meteor watcher would have chosen to gaze at the sky. Overcast skies and a full moon were less than ideal meteor watching conditions. Despite the lousy conditions, and the fact no one else reported seeing them – they remained adamant about what they saw.

Scientists now believe it was the Gamma Delphinids, and 83 years later – they’re coming back -maybe. More of a best guess than a promise, chances are good that for as little as 15 minutes, an hour at most beginning 4:28 AM EDT, the night sky will sparkle with brilliant fast moving meteors.

The Gamma Delphinids meteor shower – if it shows – will appear to radiate from the constellation Delphinus (del-FINE-us) the Dolphin high in the southern sky shortly before dawn tomorrow morning June 11. This map shows the sky facing south at 3:30 a.m. local time. Delphinus is to the east or left of the bottom of the bright 3-star figure the Summer Triangle. Created with Stellarium

(The above paragraph and photo were blatantly lifted from astrobob)

If you can’t find Vega; a bright star, easily visible as a frame of reference – download the Google Sky Map app on your phone. Perhaps staying up all night to maybe wish upon a star isn’t your thing; Sky Map will bring the universe to your doorstep – never again will you ponder what that object in the sky is called.