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Top iPhone and Android apps for stargazing

Find constellations, see into deep space, spot the I.S.S., all from your iPhone or Android device.

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Marcellus Hall

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On Oct. 21, the Orionids meteor shower will reach a crescendo, delivering as many as 20 shooting stars an hour.

Stargazers need only look toward the "club" in the Orion constellation. Not quite sure where that is? Your smart phone can point the way.

Here are four astronomy applications that help make sense of the night sky.

Star Walk: Hold your phone toward the heavens and this $2.99 app will show you exactly which stars hang overhead. As you turn, the image spins with you, revealing constellations, planets, comets, and satellites in every direction. The team at Vito Technology has continuously improved this iPhone and iPad app. The current version lets you search for specific objects, double-tap to reveal detailed information, and turn back the clock to see the position of stars hours or centuries in the past.

Google offers a free equivalent for Android devices called Sky Map.

 
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