S&T Introduces SkyWeek App

It’s with great pleasure that I inform you of Sky & Telescope’s first application for Apple mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch). The app is called S&T SkyWeek, and it is now available for purchase from the iTunes app store for only 99 cents.

Sky and Telescope's SkyWeek app
Tony Flanders
The app automatically delivers every week the most popular feature of S&T’s website: This Week’s Sky at a Glance. We didn’t want to create yet another planetarium program; we wanted to create something unique and beneficial for skygazers. In many respects, S&T SkyWeek goes above and beyond typical planetarium programs by giving you a day-by-day report on the week’s most exciting sky events, with a link to an interactive sky chart that tells you when and where to look to see the event. The app is customized for your location.

We designed the app to be extremely user-friendly. For example, many planetarium apps will provide the positions of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons at a specific time. That’s nice, but SkyWeek told me that this past Saturday night something special was happening: Two of these moons (Ganymede and Europa) were casting shadows on Jupiter from 9:40 to 11:04 p.m. EDT. (Unfortunately, it was cloudy that night.)

SkyWeek provides a wealth of information about a wide variety of sky events. It will tell you when two bright objects (such as the Moon and a planet) come close together in the sky, and what direction of the sky you should look. It will tell you when there will be a meteor shower and how many meteors you can expect to see. Do you want to see the latest bright comet (currently Comet Hartley 2)? SkyWeek tells you that the comet is pretty much lost in the Moon’s glare this week, but that Moon-free observing will return the morning of November 1st.

A lot of work went into producing this app, and many people played important roles. I want to especially thank my S&T editorial colleagues Alan MacRobert and Tony Flanders, who worked in close conjunction with our software developers to make this happen. And a special thanks goes to those developers, Tim DeBenedictis and Bill Tschumy of Southern Stars for their enthusiasm and technical expertise.

Learn more about S&T SkyWeek by visiting
SkyWeek's iTunes Preview and then check it out at Apple’s iTunes app store!

44 thoughts on “S&T Introduces SkyWeek App

  1. Mike Lynch

    Gotta agree with the earlier posters. Not EVERYONE who may want this app uses the iPhone!! S & T should have had multiple-platform versions ready when they rolled this one out, rather than limiting it to iOS. I’d like a version for the Palm Pre Plus, which uses WebOS.

    Mike

  2. Brian Boyer

    Just downloaded the ap and had a quick look at it – looks very nice! Good call on using the Southern Stars folks to help with the design of the interactive sky map. I am a big user of what they are now calling SkySafari, so the interface is familiar.

    I especially like the “alerts” on what the Jovian moons will be up to – much easier than using the java utility and having to figure out which date it will be in universal time etc.

  3. Jon

    I’d like to see this available for Symbian^3 as I have a Nokia N8 and would find this app pretty useful – there’s not a lot out there for astronomy for this phone yet.

  4. Den DiMarco

    Thanks for developing this style of App. It’s just what I (and other observers) should find very useful!

    If you taking votes , I also would also love this app for the Palm Pre Web OS.

  5. Den DiMarco

    Thanks for developing this style of App. It’s just what I (and other observers) should find very useful!

    If you taking votes , I also would also love this app for the Palm Pre Web OS.

  6. Hi-tech

    Gotta agree with everyone!!! I want an app for my Big Chief paper tablet too!!! Why would S&T DARE to roll out an app that is completely ready for one platform when they don’t have one avaiable yet for every other conceivable platform under the stars?

    Sheesh, you guys.

  7. James

    Just another comment to ask for Android support – HTC Desire.
    Apple’s iOS (iPhone, iPad OS) is not the only popular OS for phones and in fact Google’s Android has been growing much faster than any other (including iOS), so even if iPhone is used by many, there are potentially more “smart phones” around the globe that are not compatible with this app!

  8. William Hultman

    When are “app developers” going to realize that there are more Droids out there now than iPhones/iPads? We want a Droid app please… other platforms would be nice too

  9. Harry Betz

    I downloaded the Skyweek app for my IPod Touch and followed the directions for specifying my locatio as San Jose, CA. However, when I select view, “Boston” keeps coming up.

  10. Paul Robinson

    Was quite excited to see this, although the reviews on iTunes have been mixed… mostly that it’s quite good but a work in progress.

    The thing that wasn’t made clear above is that this is good ONLY for 1 year! While I realize that it’s cheap, cheap, cheap at $1, it still would be good to make that clear to folks!

    After all, there are free Iridium and ISS apps that are just superb–and have no time limit!

    And, again, in the nit-pick category– there are two separate versions– iPhone/IPT and iPad– so it’s two buys, not one for many of us!

    How about providing this free with subscriptions to the magazine? Or at least for those of us that have been subscribing longer than the Internet’s been around?!! 🙂

  11. Dieter Kreuer

    I really like the app, but I’m missing three features which I find important:

    – a search function to quickly jump to an object (planet name, star name, Messier object).
    – when calling the map for a particular event, the object that the event refers to should be centered.
    – it should be possible to keep an object centered when advancing the time (something like “tracking on/off”). E.g. if you zoom into Jupiter to see its moons and advance the time by minutes or hours, the planet should not jump out of the field of view, but you should be able to follow the motion of the moons instead.

    Otherwise, it’s a great value for its price. It will certainly help many people to learn the skies, and it will help not to miss interesting events and it will teach me alignment star names for my goto mount.

  12. Neal Kleinman

    I subscribed to your digital edition of the magazine. I have been trying to get support from your third party vendor since I purchased. Awful tech support. I cannot read the magazine offline!

  13. M Fisher

    Droid has OVERTAKEN Iphone and I really hope to see this app available for the most popular smart phone which is, as I said, the Droid. I have a Droid X and I love this phone. I also love S&T so lets get the two together, okay?

  14. Dennis

    I downloaded the Sky & Tel Iphone app, but it says my location is Denver, CO. I live in CA and that makes everything 1 hour off, not to mention location lat/lon.

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