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Advantages of AR?

I got my AR version yesterday and tried it out when it got dark. It works, and it is fun that buildings and trees are now showing up in the image with the planetarium image nicely showing up where the sky is supposed to be. But apart from the novelty, what is the use?

I have always identified stars by holding up my iPhone to the sky, and SkySafari has shown an image that made it possible to identify the visible stars, but of course without buildings. The iPhone camera is not able to see any stars at all, so adjustments is only possible if the Moon is visible, or perhaps Venus. The Sun can also be used, but again, apart from novelty, I do not see the advantage of superimposing the starry sky on the daylight sky.

Have I missed a possible advantage of AR versus old-fashioned compass mode?


  • 0
    Pedro Braganca

    AR is a fun feature and I do think it offers a couple of additional benefits to compass mode.  The first (as you mention), is that you can see your real surroundings blended with the simulated sky chart.  It personalizes the stargazing experience.  Big tree in the backyard - no problem - AR can help you figure out if the object you're planning to observe later in the day will be blocked by it.  Second, you can adjust for compass inaccuracies by lining up simulated objects with real objects.  You are correct that the real objects need to be fairly bright (Moon, Sun, Planets) but most nights you'll find an object to help make the adjustment.  

    The AR blending does work better in daylight and twilight conditions (this is true for all astro apps) but is also designed to be useful under dark skies.  And we'll keep tweaking to ensure we can provide the best experience possible under all conditions.  

  • 1

    I didn't think of using AR with a time setting other than Now. To use it to plan ahead and judge when a star will not be blocked by trees is very useful indeed! Thanks!

  • 0
    Mario Wolczko

    It would be cool if you could use AR mode to record and integrate your horizon for later use, instead of the current, rather complex, procedure for integrating a horizon panorama.

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