Discover the relationship between the cosmos and time.
We are only a week away from a HUGE cosmic event happening in the world — a Total Solar Eclipse. While solar eclipses happen every year in some form, the fact that a total solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. is pretty big news. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible anywhere in the U.S. was in March of 1979 and the next time it will be will be in April of 2024. With that in mind, you want to have the best viewing options available and Cosmic-Watch for iOS can help.
Cosmic-Watch is an app that is designed to uncover the relationship between time and the cosmos. The app is an interactive learning tool and allows you to see where planets and other celestial formations are at specific times of the day. It’s 3D and you can zoom in and out like you would on any image on the iPhone. Some of the features in Cosmic-Watch include:
- Realtime World Clock
- Time Travel – You can look up planetary positions in the past, present, and future.
- Exact times of sunrise and sunset.
- Navigation – Experience your real-time position in the cosmos and find planets in the sky.
- Equatorial coordinates – allows you to adjust your telescope adequately to view the cosmos
- Digital orrery – Discover the solar system from a geocentric point of view
- Interactive astral chart
- Solar eclipse detector
I’ve always had a general fascination with outer space and I am really excited about the upcoming solar eclipse. So, I was curious about this app that is supposed to show where we are in relation to the rest of the universe. I have to admit though that this app was a little confusing to use. I thought it would be really straight forward, but as it turns out, it’s a little complicated. When you are setting it up, you have the option to choose one of four main modes. These are located along the side of the screen. You need to enable Location Services for the app in order to really get the most out of it.
In addition to the main modes that are on the screen, you can also select Clock, Guides, Earth, or Sky from the Settings menu. Inside those options, you will find more features. Honestly, I’d like to see the options for viewing the modes and celestial sky simplified. The view of the Earth stays on the screen the entire time and that can make it really hard to see the menu options. I would love to see a future version pull up a side menu or a completely different screen for options.
Also, when you visit the website, there are several tutorials you can watch or read through. One of which is labeled as a Quick Reference Guide. I thought this might give me a few simple written instructions on how to best use the app, but instead, it took me to a page that has a lot of labeled screen shots. While this is helpful, it wasn’t what I was looking for and the screen shots were not updated with the last app update.
Even though I may have found a few ‘room for improvement’ areas, I have to admit that the view from Cosmic-Watch is stunning. The interactivity is very good and it really does give you an interesting perspective on time and space. If you have an interest in astronomy, Cosmic-Watch is a nice app to invest in.
DOWNLOAD – Cosmic-Watch – iOS $4.99