The Ultimate Mobile Guide to Saturn

Our new SaturnMoons app guides you around the ringed planet as it brightens in the night sky in advance of a late April opposition.

Saturn on April 12, 2012
Christopher Go captured this shot three days before Saturn's 2012 opposition. The planet's rings had already noticeably brightened due to the Seeliger effect. South is up.
Saturn will rule the night as it comes into opposition on April 28th. The ringed wonder will be +0.1 magnitude at its brightest, with the disk covering 19" in equatorial diameter and the rings 43". The sight will be impressive both to the unaided eye and through a telescope.

As you spend more time with Saturn in the coming months, see how many moons you can spot through your scope — bright Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is generally easy enough, but the others present more of a challenge. Our Saturn's Moons Java utility already comes in handy during a moon hunt, but now we have something even better.

SaturnMoons is our newest mobile app developed by our friends Tim DeBenedictus and Bill Tschumy at SouthernStars. The app is available for Apple devices for $2.99.

SaturnMoons presents the ultimate guide to the ringed planet. A pinch-zoomable interface set to your local time helps you locate the nine largest satellites. The view always shows the correct tilt of Saturn's rings, which will close to 18° by the end of April. The time controls allow you to step through seconds, minutes, or hours, or speed through days or even years to see where the moons will be down the line. You can flip the view to match what you see through your telescope, too, making finding these mini worlds even easier.

SaturnMoons main screen

The app also functions as a handy Saturn factoid source. Senior contributing editor J. Kelly Beatty gives you the dirt (or rather, the ice) on Saturn's bizarre family of satellites, including Earth-like Titan, two-faced Iapetus, and Mimas, the Death Star moon. Detailed entries and stunning photos also describe Saturn's subtly striped atmosphere and spectacular rings.

SaturnMoons encyclopedia

Please note: this application is designed to work in landscape orientation only so that you may view Saturn, Saturn’s rings, and the lunar family at their best.

SaturnMoons is for mobile Apple devices only right now. But don't forget, for both Droid and Apple users we have the ever-popular (and free) SkyWeek app. This mobile version of "This Week's Sky at a Glance" guides you to what's up in the night sky, complete with interactive sky charts. For descriptions of all our apps, visit www.skypub.com/skyapps.

(Droid users: want to see more S&T apps for your mobile devices? Recommend SkyWeek to your friends! Even though Droids make up a large share of the smartphone market, they're a small share of SkyWeek downloads. Show our management team there's a Droid market and we might soon have Droid versions of these awesome apps, too!)

In addition to the SaturnMoons app, we have a number of Saturn observing tools, guides, and other resources on our site. Here are just a few of them:

8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Mobile Guide to Saturn

  1. Sam

    I’d like to also add my voice to those really wishing these apps were available on Android OS. I have SkyWeek on my Android, but no other Android apps that I am aware of are offered (including SkyWeek plus). Please consider expanding to Android! In the meantime, I’ll suggest people download SkyWeek…but it’s sort of like a chicken-and-egg…not many people have downloaded SkyWeek, so other apps aren’t made for the Android (even though the basic SkyWeek is easier to do without at the ‘scope than the moons of Jupiter/Saturn, and some of the other apps).

    Thank you for your consideration!

  2. John

    When you develop an app you develop the app for both android OS as well as apple at the same time. Android has become a very popular operating system individuals like myself get put out at the fact that every app that you put out is for apple. I am sure that a large base of your customers do use an android OS and would like to more android apps. Thank for your consideration!

  3. John

    When you develop an app you develop the app for both android OS as well as apple at the same time. Android has become a very popular operating system individuals like myself get put out at the fact that every app that you put out is for apple. I am sure that a large base of your customers do use an android OS and would like to more android apps. Thank for your consideration!

  4. James Grose

    I have been using the Sky Week app on my android device for the last couple of years, and it has been very handy to use. As for your other apps, the Jupiter and Saturn moons apps, I also would like to see android versions made available. I for one would put them on my android device, and they would get a lot of use. I have recommended the Sky Week app for all my friends who are into astronomy and use android devices.

  5. John Schnupp

    I think it is awfully short sighted to say "Even though Droids make up a large share of the smartphone market, they’re a small share of SkyWeek downloads."

    Have you ever considered that the reason there are not many android download is BECAUSE there are no apps to download?

    Just like the Field of Dreams, if you make the app it will be downloaded. If you had android apps for Jupiter and Saturn I can promise you that they will be downloaded en masse.

  6. Alphonse Scleppe

    Seriously, the two apps you have for saturn and jupiter ar effectivley single use apps. I think $3.00 is a bit much for that… Unless these are not adware. Consider a free version with ads for the droid. I like the concept of these aps but would never use them enough to justify to myself a $3.00 charge. $1 maybe…

  7. Tony D.

    Please offer apps for the Android products like you do for Apple products. I’ve downloaded Skyweek for my Andoid phone and would like the same products you offer to Apple users. I don’t believe all S&T subscribers use Apple products…. many use Android based products!

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