Viewing the earth and sky: here are two apps

These two apps are awesome.

There’s Star Walk – 5 Stars Astronomy Guide which costs $2.99 (and worth every penny).

Star Walk

Star Walk enables you to point your iPhone at the sky and see what stars, constellations, and satellites you are looking at in real-time. Please note, you will need a 3GS/4/4th gen iPod Touch for motion tracking, otherwise this app will be just a beautiful info-packed time-sensitive interactive star atlas that allows you to set your location manually to give you the most accurate picture.

Now I always know what I’m looking at in the night sky.  There are similar apps for android, one of which is Star Chart. (Note: Motion tracking works fine on my iPhone 4S.)

I just discovered the other app, NASA Earth Now.

NASA Earth Now

NASA’s Earth Now is an application that visualizes recent global climate data from Earth Science satellites, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and water vapor as well as gravity and sea level variations. Data sets are visually described using “false color” maps. Color-coded legends are provided to indicate relative strength or weakness of an environmental condition. The resulting 3D model of the Earth may be rotated by a single finger stroke, and may also be zoomed in or out by pinching 2 fingers. It was developed by the Earth Science Communications and Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with support from NASA Headquarters.

The current surface temperatures for the southern hemisphere reminded me that it’s summer down under right now.