Suggested Smart Phone Apps for Eclipse Fans
By West Kentucky Star Staff
WESTERN KENTUCKY - For many people, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017. The August 21 event will be the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States coast to coast in nearly 100 years. The path of totality will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. While all states will not be in the path of totality, where the moon will completely cover the sun, all of North America will be treated to this rare celestial event.

There are several ways you can plan for the eclipse and view it, and you need not look any farther than your smartphone. AT&T compiled the following mobile tips to help ensure you don’t miss out on the biggest astronomy event of the year:

NASA Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Countdown: NASA has created this website,, to guide you through the eclipse. You will find a live stream of the eclipse, an interactive eclipse map, a list of official eclipse events across the country,  eclipse science and education activities, such as making a solar viewing projector or a 3D printable pinhole projector, eclipse art projects and much more.

Solar Eclipse Timer($1.99) – This is the only “talking” timer app specifically for total solar eclipses. The app will get you into the path of the solar eclipse, and then with just 2 taps on your device, it will talk you through the eclipse. Voice countdowns guide you precisely to the 4 contact times of the eclipse. You also receive announcements at the proper times to tell you to observe for interesting things during the partial phases, such as the temperature drop, lighting changes, animal behavior and shadow bands. The app also tells you when it is safe to take your solar glasses off and then when you must put them back on. And, to practice on your photography for the big event, the app has a demo session that plays a totality movie synchronized with the timers.

SkySafari 5: ($2.99) – SkySafari 5 shows you 119,000 stars, 220 of the best-know star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in the sky, including all of the solar system’s major planets and moons, and more than 500 asteroids, comets and satellites. The sky-charting app can help you plan for the eclipse by previewing what you’ll see. You’ll be able to find out if totality will occur above your observing location, and when. The app can also help you select a site to view or photograph the event. You can even replay past and future eclipses from anywhere on Earth because the app simulates the sky up to 10,000 years in the past or future.

Total Solar Eclipse 2017This free app from Exploratorium gives you access to Exploratorium’s live video streams of the total solar eclipse. You can tune in to 5 simultaneous video streams: live coverage hosted by Exploratorium educators and NASA scientists; live coverage in Spanish; a non-narrated, 3-hour live telescope view of the full eclipse as seen from Oregon; a non-narrated, 3-hour live telescope view of the full eclipse as seen from Wyoming; and a live telescope view with live musical sonification and accompaniment by the Kronos Quartet.

The Great Photo App: ($2.99) – You don’t want to miss getting the best photo possible of this amazing event – AFTER you’ve put on your safety glasses – and this app can help. The Great Photo App provides interactive photography lessons. You learn about lighting, exposure, aperture, depth of field, white balancing, and much more. You also may want to check out this web site, It provides an extensive guide on smartphone photography.


Published 03:38 AM, Sunday Aug. 13, 2017
Updated 04:01 PM, Monday Aug. 14, 2017

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