Sky & Telescope Launches Wireless Sky Chart

April 21, 2004

Contact:
Kerri Williams
617-864-7360 x127
kwilliams@SkyandTelescope.com

Note to Editors/Producers: This release is accompanied by publication- and broadcast-quality graphics; see details below.

You go outside, look up, and see a bright star glowing in the western sky. What's that, you wonder? You pull out your cell phone, key in your ZIP code, and voilà, you have the answer: it's not a star at all — it's the planet Venus!

Sky Publishing, known worldwide for its award-winning monthly magazine, Sky & Telescope, has introduced a sky-chart application for wireless phones. The new, state-of-the-art application delivers heavenly simulations of the night sky, including constellations, stars, and planets, to users of BREW-enabled color handsets.

The Sky & Telescope wireless application is currently offered by leading US operators and was developed in partnership with NuvoStudios, a premier global wireless software publisher, and M7 Networks, a leader in mobile data services.

Sky & Telescope's Mobile Sky Chart simulates a naked-eye view of the sky from any location in the United States, on any date, at any time of night. Charted stars and planets are the ones typically visible without optical aid under clear suburban skies.

"Many Sky & Telescope readers and visitors to our Web site have asked for a portable version of our award-winning Interactive Sky Chart," says Marcy Dill, Sky Publishing's vice president of marketing and business development. The Java applet on SkyandTelescope.com was developed by the Interactive Factory in Boston, in collaboration with Sky & Telescope's editors and graphic designers. "When we determined that NuvoStudios could transform our Web-based sky-chart applet to the BREW platform," says Dill, "we began a collaboration that culminated with the release of this innovative product."

"The Mobile Sky Chart is an ideal application for wireless phones," says Dale Crowley, CEO of NuvoStudios. "It's perfect since you don't have to carry sky maps around and it can be updated to the exact minute. Given NuvoStudios' mobile expertise combined with M7 Networks' knowledge, I believe this application will appeal to everyone who has a curiosity about the night sky."

There are two ways to display the sky on Sky & Telescope's Mobile Sky Chart: the Horizon View provides a panoramic naked-eye scene from the horizon two-thirds of the way up toward overhead, and the All-Sky Chart represents the entire sky currently visible. Both displays are labeled with compass points so you can match the chart to the direction you're facing. Moving around the sky on either chart is as simple as pushing the phone's arrow buttons.

The Mobile Sky Chart includes the following features:

. Display of some 900 stars; about half of these are above the horizon at any time

. Display of star names of the 26 brightest stars

. Display of the Moon and five naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn)

. Display of 86 constellations with stick-figure lines and labels

. Viewing location determined from ZIP code

. Navigation (panning and zooming) of the sky-chart display via the left/right/up/down and number keys.


Sky & Telescope is making two publication-quality graphics available to the news media. Permission is granted for one-time, nonexclusive use in print and broadcast media, as long as appropriate credits (as noted in the caption) are included. Web publication must include a link to SkyandTelescope.com.

S&T's Mobile Sky Chart
Sky & Telescope's Mobile Sky Chart for BREW-enabled cell phones displays the sky in two ways: the Horizon View (left) and the All-Sky Chart (right). Here we see the evening sky on February 24, 2004, with the crescent Moon midway between the planets Venus and Mars low in the west (in the Horizon View) and the planet Saturn to the upper left of the constellation Orion high in the southeast (on the All-Sky Chart). Larger images of both views (150 kilobytes each) are available for download by anonymous FTP: Horizon View, All-Sky Chart.
Courtesy Sky & Telescope, NuvoStudios, and M7 Networks.

Sky Publishing Corp. was founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, the original editors of Sky & Telescope magazine. The company's headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In addition to Sky & Telescope and SkyandTelescope.com, the company publishes Night Sky magazine (a bimonthly for beginners with a Web site at NightSkyMag.com), two annuals (Beautiful Universe and SkyWatch), as well as books, star atlases, posters, prints, globes, and other fine astronomy products.

NuvoStudios is a leading developer of entertainment content for mobile devices. Since 1998, the year it was founded, NuvoStudios has commercially released numerous applications for mobile phones and interactive platforms and is known for producing graphically rich, innovative games and entertainment titles. NuvoStudios has offices in San Francisco. For more information, please send e-mail to info@nuvostudios.com or at 415-882-7778.

M7 Networks is a leading trusted partner and enabler of advanced wireless services, linking wireless carriers, technology providers, and the content community. Based in La Jolla, California, M7 Networks was founded in 2000 with funding from QUALCOMM, Enterprise Partners, and Sienna Ventures. For more information, visit www.m7networks.com or send an e-mail message to info@m7networks.com.

NuvoStudios is a trademark of NuvoStudios, Inc. M7 and M7 Networks are registered trademarks of M7 Networks, Inc. QUALCOMM is a registered trademark, and BREW is a trademark, of QUALCOMM, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.