Follow the upcoming asteroid's close call with Earth on iOS devices
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Follow the upcoming asteroid's close call with Earth on iOS devices


This Friday, Feb. 15, a 180,000-ton asteroid dubbed "2012 DA14" will fly past the Earth. And you can follow it with Apple devices.

Whizzing by just 17,200 miles away, this 50-meter space rock will come closer than our orbiting geosynchronous communication satellites. Although there is no chance of a collision, this passage of 2012 DA14 by the Earth is a record close approach for an object of this size.

To let you track 2012 DA14, Southern Stars is releasing an update to its SkySafari Plus and Pro apps for iOS, Mac OS X, and Android. These app updates are a new first in mobile computing, and a solution to an unusual technical challenge, according to Southern Stars founder Tim DeBenedictis. Because the Earth's gravity affects the asteroid's orbit so severely, most desktop planetarium programs -- and all other mobile apps -- will completely fail to predict the asteroid's position correctly, he adds.

To solve this problem, Southern Stars consulted with solar system dynamics experts at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. With JPL's help, SkySafari has become the first mobile app with a full-blown solar system orbit integrator built in.  

"We're not just playing back the NASA video," DeBenedictis explains. "The iPhone is actually doing the math live in real time."

The asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye, but amateur astronomers with larger backyard telescopes should be able to catch a glimpse through clear, dark skies. SkySafari Plus and Pro were the first mobile apps to offer built-in telescope control, using Southern Stars's wireless SkyFi device or via SkyWire, the first Apple-approved serial cable for iOS devices.

Southern Stars will offer the new app updates to SkySafari Plus and Pro on the Apple App Store, the Mac App Store, and Google Play with sale prices up to 30% off. The sale begins Feb. 14 and will continue through Sunday, Feb. 17. The updates will be free for current SkySafari Plus and Pro owners.

Amateur astronomers wanting to observe the 2012 DA14 flyby with SkySafari should consider the Pro version, because its much larger star database will make it far easier to find the faint asteroid moving across background star fields, says DeBenedictis. But either the Plus or Pro version will simulate the asteroid's flyby accurately, as seen from any place on Earth -- or look back on Earth from 2012 DA14 itself, he adds. To download SkySafari Plus, use the following links:

° iOS (sale price USD $9.99, regularly $14.99): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skysafari-3-plus/id437111155?mt=8

° Mac OS X (sale price USD $14.99, regularly $19.99): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skysafari-plus/id451902629?mt=12

° Android (sale price USD $9.99, regularly $14.99): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.southernstars.skysafar...

To download SkySafari Pro, use the following links:

° iOS (sale price USD $29.99, regularly $39.99): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skysafari-3-pro/id437112382?mt=8

° Mac OS X (sale price USD $39.99, regularly $49.99): http://www.southernstars.com/products/skysafari_mac/download.html

° Android (sale price USD $29.99, regularly $39.99): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.southernstars.skysafar...

Note that the basic version of SkySafari doesn't support the new asteroid/comet orbit integrator. This new feature is exclusive to SkySafari Plus and Pro.

 
AAPL
$126.44
Apple Inc.
-0.16
GOOG
$523.40
Google Inc.
+1.56
MSFT
$44.40
Microsoft Corporation
-0.04
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Rage of Bahamut is Giving Almost All of...
The App Store isn't what it used to be back in 2012, so it's not unexpected to see some games changing their structures with the times. Now we can add Rage of Bahamut to that list with the recent announcement that the game is severely cutting back on the number of events it holds. | Read more »
Adventures of Pip (Games)
Adventures of Pip 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** ONE WEEK ONLY — 66% OFF! ***“Adventures of Pip is a delightful little platformer full of charm, challenge and impeccable level design.”4/5 – Hardcore Gamer"A retro platformer that sets itself apart with the protagonist’s... | Read more »
Divide By Sheep - Tips, Tricks, and Stre...
Who would have thought splitting up sheep could be so involved? Anyone who’s played Divide by Sheep, that’s who! While we’re not about to give you complete solutions to everything (because that’s just cheating), we will happily give you some primers on how to get started and what to expect. [Read more] | Read more »
NaturalMotion and Zynga Have Started Tea...
An official sequel to 2012's CSR Racing is officially on the way, with Zynga and NaturalMotion releasing a short teaser trailer to get everyone excited. Well, as excited as one can get from a trailer with no gameplay footage, anyway. [Read more] | Read more »
Grab a Friend and Pick up Overkill 3, Be...
Overkill 3 is a pretty enjoyable third-person shooter that was sort of begging for some online multiplayer. Fortunately the begging can stop, because its newest update has added an online co-op mode. [Read more] | Read more »
Scanner Pro's Newest Update Adds Au...
Scanner Pro is one of the most popular document scanning apps on iOS, thanks in no small part to its near-constant updates, I'm sure. Now we're up to update number six, and it adds some pretty handy new features. [Read more] | Read more »
Heroki (Games)
Heroki 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: CLEAR THE SKIES FOR A NEW HERO!The peaceful sky village of Levantia is in danger! The dastardly Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice, Vapor, have stolen the Emerix - a powerful amulet and all hope may be lost! Created by Picomy. Published... | Read more »
Wars of the Roses (Games)
Wars of the Roses 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
TapMon Battle (Games)
TapMon Battle 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's time to battle!Tap! Tap! Tap! Try tap a egg to hatch a Tapmon!Do a battle with another tapmons using your hatched tapmons!*How to play*Complete the limited taps before time expires.Be careful! If you tap a newborn tapmon,... | Read more »
Alchemic Dungeons (Games)
Alchemic Dungeons 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ### Release Event! ### 2.99$->0.99$ for limited time!### Roguelike Role Playing Game! ###Alchemic Dungeons is roguelike rpg game with crafting systems!You can make Items from materials!To conquer dungeons, use items... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.