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
$102.43
Apple Inc.
+2.67
GOOG
$524.82
Google Inc.
+3.98
MSFT
$44.84
Microsoft Corpora
+0.76
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

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

Fiete – A Day on a Farm Review
Fiete – A Day on a Farm Review By Amy Solomon on October 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fiete – A day on a farm in an interactive app for young children full of impressive art and sound effects.   | Read more »
Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge is Almo...
Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge is Almost Here Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] One Man Left has announced the official release date of Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Re | Read more »
Sago Mini Monsters Celebrates Halloween...
Sago Mini Monsters Celebrates Halloween with Fun Costumes and Special Treats. Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 21st, 2014 [ permal | Read more »
Inferno 2 Review
Inferno 2 Review By Andrew Fisher on October 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TWIN STICK GOODNESSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad With tight controls and awesome, stark visuals, Inferno 2 is loads of fun.   | Read more »
Clips Review
Clips Review By Jennifer Allen on October 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: CONVENIENT PASTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Making copying and pasting more powerful than usual, Clips is a great way to move stuff around.   | Read more »
MonSense Review
MonSense Review By Jennifer Allen on October 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORGANIZED FINANCESiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Organize your finances with the quick and easy to use, MonSense.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: October 13-17, 201...
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written. Pokemon TCG   | Read more »
Angry Birds Transformers Review
Angry Birds Transformers Review By Jennifer Allen on October 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRANSFORMED BIRDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Transformed in a way you wouldn’t expect, Angry Birds Transformers is a quite entertaining auto-runner.   | Read more »
GAMEVIL Announces the Upcoming Launch of...
GAMEVIL Announces the Upcoming Launch of Mark of the Dragon Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] Mark of the Dragon, by GAMEVIL, put | Read more »
Interview With the Angry Birds Transform...
Angry Birds Transformers recently transformed and rolled out worldwide. This run-and-gun title is a hit with young Transformers fans, but the ample references to classic Transformers fandom has also earned it a place in the hearts of long-time admirers of Optimus Prime. Nick Harper (Game Director for Exient Entertainment) and Mika Rahko (Executive... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.