For those who want to know more about the night sky, we have good news. Never before has there been such a large selection of star maps. Never before has it been so easy to quickly get an idea of what constellation you are looking at.
The reason? Astronomy apps, of course. When open on your smartphone, an astronomy app can roughly show you, where you are looking in the sky.
The word ‘roughly’ is the qualifier here and although it applies to your every day night sky apps, the Universe2go app is a step above. To learn more about what sets Universe2go apart, have a look below:
“But, Universe2go is not different than other apps.”
This is a statement that we have heard often, above all from people, who hadn’t yet had the chance to try Universe2go personally. Quickly, one of the many differences becomes clear, if you use the typical app and Universe2go side by side.
Our personal planetarium shows with precision the current positions of the stars within a few arc minutes (a fraction of a degree). Other apps depict the night sky with an error of several degrees, which can sometimes lead to a wild-goose chase, if you want to find a certain region of the sky.
2. Sensors Reliability
Sensors in modern smartphones are already well developed, and yet these sensors can be unreliable, causing a scatter of data points. As a result, a main focus in the development of Universe2go was utilizing these sensors in a new way. Our goal was to optimize reliability and precision of the sensors, allowing Universe2go to create a one-to-one depiction of the stars overlaying the real night sky. It was a totally new means, which was still lacking in other apps. Universe2go collects up to 1000 sensor data points, evaluates them and as a result achieves the high precision.
Most importantly, you look through the Universe2go star viewer – much like with a computer-controlled GoTo Telescope – at three stars to calibrate your view. The software then knows exactly, where it can find each celestial object.
3. Augmented Reality
With Universe2go, you place your smartphone into the device. While looking through the star viewer, you will see how the digital stars line up perfectly with the night sky, allowing you to see both virtual and real depictions simultaneously. It appears then that the constellation lines are connecting the real stars with the addition of names and descriptions. This connection of digital with reality has been coined ‘Augmented Reality’, not to be confused with ‘virtual reality’. At its foundation, augmented reality is taking the virtual world and blending it with your real view. Augment (meaning enhance) your view of the night sky!
In contrast, other apps offer no augmented reality solution. If you want to use one of these apps to study the night sky, you must hold your smartphone up above your head and from there, compare what you see on the (blue-light) screen with the night sky, much like a classic star map. This action also requires you to switch you gaze between screen and stars, which can make stargazing pretty difficult, as your eyes require time to readjust to the night sky. Not so with Universe2go, which was developed specifically for night-time viewing and allows you to look through the digital picture and skip readjusting your eyes constantly.
4. Audio Guide
Universe2go features over 3 hours of audio material about constellations, stars, planets, and deep-sky objects, allowing you to see and enjoy the sky, while listening to what the app explains. Without having to read anything, you are able to dive deep into the Universe. Your knowledge of the cosmos will grow automatically, all while having fun.
5. 3D Effect
Universe2go projects an image for each eye, making it possible to create three dimensional depictions of constellations and cosmic objects. As a result, planets and nebulae look even more impressive. In antiquity, the stars were thought of as fixed objects in the heavens above Earth, and therefore all the same distance away. With Universe2go, you can see the depths of space, visually experiencing constellations in a whole new way and expanding your horizons of reality.
Universe2go is different. The app’s star map melts into the real night sky, making it seems as if they are one. There is no longer a need for comparison to a star chart, since all the information is right there before your eyes. The audio guide recounts an amazing amount of information about space and your knowledge will grow automatically. In its own way, seeing and learning about the heavens, the Universe2go app is unique.
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