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Photo of Star Tower in the daylight

13 July . 2019

The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky

Our master-planned community in Goodyear is a dark sky friendly community and works to limit the number of lighting fixtures and light pollution throughout its neighborhoods. One of the best places to take advantage of our dark sky environment is Star Tower. The community’s iconic landmark is fifty feet high, serves as a popular photo spot, and the top offers a perfect perch to stargaze. Climb the circular staircase to the top and use these stargazing apps as your guide to the night sky.

photo of Star Tower at night with full moon in back ground
Photo Credit: Emily Schmit

SkyView® Lite
Finding specific stars and constellations is easy with SkyView® Lite. Using your camera, the app guides users to the exact location of particular objects in the sky. Point your camera up to the sky, and SkyView® Lite can find thousands of stars, planets, and galaxies in the atmosphere – it can even pick up satellite fly-bys! This app can also show the night sky on future and past dates and times. The best part about the app is that you can download it directly onto your device and use it without Wi-Fi. Disconnect yourself from reality and enjoy the views.

Star Walk 2
For those interested in gaining in-depth knowledge about our solar system, consider downloading Star Walk 2. Along with identifying stars, Star Walk 2 provides users with 3D models of constellations and stories and facts about each. The app also includes the latest news about space and astronomy findings, and offers a wealth of knowledge about historical astronomical events.

photograph of the night sky in Estrella

Photo Credit: @jj_abramovich

Night Sky
One of the most advanced apps for stargazers is Night Sky. This app uses augmented reality to pull celestial objects right out of the sky and onto your phone screen. The 3D models show users the depth and distance of the stars from one another. If you’re on the lookout for a specific star or planet, set up sky notifications. These will alert you when a specific object can be viewed best from your location. For a more convenient use, try out the voice shortcuts – you can tell the app what you’d like to see and Night Sky will direct accordingly.

If you’re looking for a way to introduce a young child to astronomy, the Starlight app is a great option. This app isn’t the most technologically advanced on the list but it’s simple to use and offers an outstanding look at our solar system. Each celestial object is labeled and outlined with beautiful illustrations the whole family will enjoy.

daytime photo of Star Tower in Estrella

Next time you look into the night sky from the top of Star Tower, one of Estrella’s trails, or even your own backyard, consider using one of these apps to enhance your stargazing experience. You’ll be able to learn more about the fascinating night sky while enjoying the natural beauty surrounding the community. Capture the moment and share your stargazing photos with us by tagging @EstrellaAZLife on social for a chance to be featured.