As an amateur astrophotographer, I'm looking for planning capabilities in an IOS app and I can't find any doing that and I'm not sure yours does it. By the way, I already own the Pro version.
For instance, I would like to know the objects (nebula, cluster...) that I could see given the following criteria:
- 45 degrees above the horizon (as altitude affects the quality of the image) - DSO's that will be available during a specific time (some apps tells me that he object is available at 9am. As you can imagine not very useful as I'm particularly interested in imaging during night hours)
- DSO's that will be visible for at least as specific amount of time (I.e. 120min). Important when you plan for an imaging session
- Is the object going to cross the meridian? Important because the telescope mount will have to flip and things need to be readjusted unless you have a $60K mount
- A way to indicate FOV criteria. For instance. If I'm imaging with a telescope equipment that gives me a field of view of 32 arc minutes by 66 arc minutes, I'm not interested to see in the results the North American Nebula which is a much larger object and my equipment won't be able to image it properly
- Select magnitude
These would be basic settings. A true astronomic planning software will give you a lot more criteria to select like seeing, visibility, better objects based on your specific visual equipment (I.e. Mono, color, filter types...). Planning software can very sophisticated but having at least some basic parameters that you can plan with could help for planning visual or imaging sessions. A good example of a very powerful planning app in Windows is SkyTools.
By the way, there is an app called "Observer Pro" in the Apple Store, that although no longer maintained, it gets a lot of good feedback in CloudyNights.com. As far as I know, this is the only app that provides some level of sky planning in IOS platform. You can get some additional ideas from the app. It's not super intuitive -but you can see the instructions in settings-, but it gets the job done to a certain extend. It even lets you define your own horizon (using your camera phone) and base on that, the best hours to see or visual a specific object. Also, it would be ideal if you could simulate the size of the object based on your specific equipment and FOV, this way, you will know if you will crop a specific object or it will be whole in your FOV.
Let me know what you think.
Miquel Casas Portland, OR Rose City Astronomers
Ps: if at some point you need a beta tester, you can let me know too