Sky Guide: Everything you need to know!

Sky Guide is probably the coolest app available for stargazers, and its recent update is nothing short of freakin' sweet. If you've never used a stargazing app before or you're curious about Sky Guide, strap in.

How much is Sky Guide?

The most important question first, of course. It's $2.99 in the App Store.

For $9.99 per year, you can unlock "Supermassive", which is a giant part of the app's most recent update. Supermassive gives you access to a ton of new features, like an image and video repository and HD zoom, but more on that later.

What can Sky Guide do?

What can't it do? Just kidding; that might be a bit overstated, but in terms of stargazing apps, it's the tops. Using your iPhone or iPad's internal compass and your location, Sky Guide shows you a detailed picture of the heavenly bodies above you, as well as what's over the horizon and on the other side of the world.

Sky Guide points out constellations and their exact locations above you, so you can look up at the real sky and find everything. For an app, it's very accurate. If you want to know more about a constellation, you can tap it and hit the info button for a detailed description and a bit of history. Want to know more about the stars that make up that constellation? You can actually zoom in on individual stars, tap them, and get their backstory as well.

Stars aren't all that matter, though. Sky Guide will show you comets, including a ton of new ones that were added in the most recent update. You can also track satellites and see detailed maps of planets. In fact, in the April, 2017 update, Sky Guide added a new map of Mercury, using data from the latest NASA probes. Not only can Sky Guide show you historical comets and those yet to come, but it also focuses on right now and the information available.

What's Supermassive?

Supermassive is essentially the April, 2017 update to Sky Guide. It took developers and scientists two years to produce it because it has added a host of new features and information to the Sky Guide app.

First, Supermassive is $9.99 per year. For that price, you get access to a repository of images and videos and cinematic tours of space. You'll also gain access to a larger catalog of stars, which you'll be able to zoom in on with high-definition zoom. This lets you get way closer to thousands of stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. You can already zoom in a bit in the app, but with Supermassive, you can go far beyond that and delve into the beauty of the heavens.

If you're not sure about forking over $10 a year, you can use Supermassive's free two-week trial to see if you like it first. Just watch out because it auto-renews.

Why is this worth my time and/or money?

Sky Guide isn't just another run-of-the-mill space app. This is one that is made with care and attention to detail that Carl Sagan would be proud of. Actual scientist worked on this thing to make it as awesome as it is, and that's something to applaud in the age of "fake news" and slapping apps on the App Store to make a quick buck.

That, and it's just plain cool as hell. If you have any interest in astronomy or simply know where Earth stands on a celestial scale, then definitely check out Sky Guide, if for nothing else than to sit on your back deck on a balmy summer night and look up for a while.

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.