The Best Apps For Amateur Astronomers To Download For Winter Camping Trips

As we approach the winter solstice, a cold-weather camping trip could be the perfect way to see the beautiful night skies. After tomorrow night, while winter will be far from over, the long nights will begin to shorten and the days will gradually grow in length again. You can still enjoy the night skies, even if you do not own a telescope, especially if you download an Astronomy App for your Android or iOS smartphone.

The solstice falls on the 21st December and if you are out this Friday, looking up at the skies on a weekend camping trip, there will be plenty up there to see. On Friday night you will be able to see Mercury and Jupiter in conjunction. On Saturday night, there is a full moon – what is referred to as 'The Cold Moon'. What is more, the Ursid meteor shower will also peak on these two nights.

To help you understand what you are seeing, and to learn more about our solar system, you could consider downloading one of these astronomy apps onto your phone before you go:

Sky Safari (Free, Android and iOS)

Star Chart (Free, Android and iOS)

Stellarium Mobile ( £2.19, Android and iOS)

Pocket Universe (£2.99, Android and iOS)

Cosmic Watch (£4.99, Android and iOS)

There are plenty of different astronomy apps out there but these are usually considered to be amongst the best for those who want help with identification of objects in the night sky along with other cool augmented reality features and other elements to enhance winter stargazing experiences.

Those interested in astronomy should also be sure to download the NASA App (Free) – a fantastic app for anyone with an interest in space and space exploration.

If you are focused on the full moon this weekend, you may also like to consider downloading Deluxe Moon HD, one of the most comprehensive resources about the moon currently available, with a range of interesting features.

A smartphone need not separate and divide you from the real world around you. It can be a tool that you can use to gain a stronger appreciation of our wonderful universe as you enjoy your camping expeditions throughout the year.