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.
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!