Amateur astronomers help Ministry of Defence track space objects

A group of volunteer astronomers are helping the Ministry of Defence monitor objects as small as freezers in space as it becomes increasingly congested. Members of the Basingstoke Astronomical Society (BAS) have been exploring whether a low-cost network of cameras could improve experts’ situational awareness. The Hampshire-based group offered to help after hearing about the…

Star Droid night sky mapping mobile app from Google


Google is launching a star gazing app for the Android platform that will allow users to identify constellations in the night sky. Star Droid will use the phone’s camera, GPS and compass to pin point exactly which celestial bodies you’re looking at and aims to educate and reignite the world’s passion with the heavens.

It’s a free download which will be launched in the coming weeks and the only practical question is over how well the phone’s viewfinder will be able to pick up the individual stars against the light pollution of Northern Europe. Of course, if you happen to live somewhere well away from the cities, you’re in luck, otherwise you might be better off sticking with Patrick Moore.

(via Telegraph)