In light of tonight’s full lunar eclipse, or perhaps I should say, ‘in shadow of,’ here are some of my favorite online apps for stargazing.
Clear Dark Sky
Attilla Danko created a wonderful tool called the Clear Sky Chart, which quickly helps you find the perfect place in your area for stargazing. Simply enter the coordinates of your locale, and Danko’s graph shows you what sort of viewing conditions to expect over the next 48 hours. From Danko’s bio, he seems like a really cool guy, too.
Wheel of Stars
Jim Bumgardner created a fascinating art-meets-science piece he calls, Wheel of Stars. His project uses realtime star data with computer programming to create an ambient visual and musical piece in which the pitch and volume are determined by the stars’ magnitudes and other celestial factors. I love it!
As he writes:
Basically, this is a very literal kind of “music of the spheres,” and is typical of my projects, which often involve circles and music.
Space Weather Radio
Another fun site to leave on in the background is Space Weather Radio. Here you can listen to a live audio feed that pings each time a satellite or meteor passes over the Texan sky.
I hope to see tonight’s lunar eclipse. From what I can tell, midnight to 3 a.m. will be the best viewing times here in Texas. According to Astro Guyz, the last time a solar eclipse coincided with Winter Solstice was back in 1638!
How about you? Do you know of any cool online apps for stargazing? Do you plan to view the lunar eclipse tonight?