I took astronomy in college. I always liked to gaze at the stars but today I really have no real knowledge of the heavens other than what was covered in school.
Where I live, I also do not get a chance to see the stars or constellations in the sky due to smog, pollution and light pollution. So if you live in a rural area and can clearly see the constellations, maybe these 2 programs will help you start your astronomy hobby or career?
The first WinMo app for astronomy, Orionic v1.2, is a lot easier than Tachyon that we will cover afterwards. However, they will both work with any Windows Mobile device from the last 5 years.
First up is Orionic v1.2 which can be downloaded from this link.
After you install the application you will find a icon on your start menu. Launch it and you will see this screen:
The splashscreen fades away and we see stars”¦.what is that? Let’s poke around a little deeper:
Clicking on the menu button brings up the menu. I clicked on Go To from there”¦
You can either move around by selecting a heading like East or North or you can do what I did and click on Constellation like so:
From there I navigated down the list and made a choice and then on the sub-menu I navigated to my zodiac sign which is Libra (in case you were wondering) and clicked on it.
Can you make out the scales below?
That is some basic skygazing help to show you what you are looking for. But what if you are already an avid astronomer? Then you need a real tool don’t you?
So now this one is much more advanced and chock full of options. It can be downloaded from here. It is also compatible with Windows Mobile devices going back to the Pocket PC’s. Tachyon weighs in at a whopping 48MB. But don’t worry we won’t fill up your Windows Mobile device ““ not today at least :) We will need 25MB on your memory card ““ not too bad right?
Download the installation files and extract them. Then open the file called TachyonPDASetup.exe. This will bring up this screen:
Click the proceed to install button and continue:
Click the Pocket PC to continue and install.
Select which options you want and then click Install Tachyon in PDA to install.
Choose the appropriate storage card and click OK. Warning – this will take a while.
Once it completes it will ask you if you want to initialize your telescope. That’s right, you can connect your telescope to your PDA via your com port! I will not pretend I know how to do it or that I even own a telescope but if you get this to work let us know in the comments.
Clicking the tools menu will bring up this menu:
Again I will not pretend I know about astronomy but I did click around and choose Planets. This is what I saw:
Then I clicked on Mars and saw the following. You can also change the date and see information change.
If you click on Party you will see these options:
Are there any astronomers out there? Care to chime in on how relevant these applications are to what you actually do? Do you know of any other astronomy apps? Don’t forget to check out John’s 5 Best Websites For Space & Astronomy Fans and also Jorge’s Explore Space Right From Your Computer With Celestia.