Your iPhone and the Amarillo Night Sky

Our friends at the Amarillo cell phone repair center are avid astronomy buffs. Our discussions often take wild turns, and this time, the discussion veered off into astronomy and iPhones. After dissecting our conversation, we realized how much iPhones are integrated into everything we do. Like they say, “there’s an app for that!”

The areas around Amarillo are a popular Texas location for stargazing. Because Amarillo is far removed from any large cities, there is little light pollution at night from the surrounding areas. The nights outside of Amarillo are quite dark, allowing the stars to really shine, pardon the pun. So what does all this have to do with iPhones? Glad you asked.

Palo Duro Canyon at Night

Image from Texas Parks and Wildlife

 

First of all, you will want to check the Weather app, since you must have a clear night for star viewing. Once you’ve decided on a clear night suggested by your weather app, you may use your iPhone’s Maps or Google Maps app to guide you to the right spot. Palo Duro Canyon was rated the 5th best place for night sky stargazing in Texas, so put Palo Duro Canyon into your Maps app, and click on the directions button. You’ll be presented with the fastest way to arrive at your destination, as well as an estimate of how long it will take and turn-by-turn directions. You may also check traffic on your Maps app. Then again, there’s never traffic in Amarillo at night. But if you were anywhere else, you might need to check.

If you are hiking around the canyon, you could use the Gaia GPS app to navigate your way. It includes offline maps because cell phone signals are often weak or nonexistent in areas popular for hiking.

Once you reach your viewing spot, the real fun begins. Your iPhone will guide you through the night sky. There are a plethora of stargazing apps that will help you to find and identify stars, constellations, planets and more. Some notable examples are StarMap, StarWalk SkyScout and Star Chart. You can point your phone at a portion of the night sky, and an app will identify what you are looking at.

With your telescope direction identified with your handy iPhone apps, you’ll enjoy beautiful views through your telescope lens. Wouldn’t you love to be able to keep some pictures of your finds for later? Who wouldn’t? With a smartphone adapter for your telescope, you can take pictures of the stars through your telescope with your phone.

With the awesome pictures and videos you’ve taken, you’ll want to share them with your friends. Of course your iPhone can help with that. Share your pictures, your story and your videos with your Facebook, Snapchat, Vine or Instagram apps.

With the help of your trusty iPhone, your evening of star gazing outside of Amarillo was a total success. You’ve avoided the rain, and the traffic. Your navigation app guided you to the perfect spot for night sky gazing, and helped to identify where to position your telescope. Your iPhone archived your excursion with videos and memorable pictures of stars and constellations. And all your friends want to make the same trip now after seeing your Facebook status updates and Snapchat videos. What would we do without our iPhones these days?