Last year I bought an iPad Mini (64 Gb version) just after they came out and on it I’ve put music, all my astronomy reading material I have in pdf version (observing guides, Webb Society pdfs of all their journals over the years, etc, and stuff related to observing that I’ve collected from the net over the years) and a couple of apps. People on the various forums had been praising the virtues of Sky Safari 3 so I thought that, initially, I’d give the basic version a go. This costs about £1.99 on iTunes store and, with 222 deep sky objects, it’s good for basic observing but after using it for a while I decided to splash out £27.99 on the Pro version (there’s also a Plus version for around £10) which contains a massive 740,000 deep sky objects, mostly galaxies, and with which you can draw up observing lists and use the app as charting software, complete with Telrad circles.
It can also be used as a telescope pointing computer, which is something I am looking at doing once I work out how to squeeze encoders into the base of my 18″ telescope between the rocker box and the bottom of the mirror box.
The app looks great and, as it’s looking as if it’s going to be a poor night tonight, with haze and a first quarter Moon, I’ll spend some time later looking at it instead of observing. First impressions though are good.
Dark skies return from tonight, with 49 minutes of true darkness between 0051 and 0140 BST (2351 and 0040 UT). Let’s hope the weather co-operates into autumn and winter.