Free downloadable astronomy apps today only!

By Phil Plait | July 20, 2009 10:44 am

I received an email from a developer at Carina Software; they’re celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing by offering all their downloadable software for free! This includes their SkyVoyager iPhone app, which I know is very popular. I have never used their software, so I cannot vouch for it, recommend it, tell you to stay away, or whatever. But I do know a lot of folks like the stuff Carina puts out, and I’ll be downloading SkyVoyager myself.

This offer is for Monday only! So grab ‘em while you can; SkyVoyager is usually $15. Just to be clear, I’m not endorsing this product, just letting y’all know about a freebie.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff

Comments (35)

  1. IVAN3MAN

    WOO-HOO! Thanks for the information, Phil!

  2. Bash

    The Google Sky Map application for Android phones is also pretty awesome.

    It even lets you locate objects in the sky like the Celestron SkyScout.

  3. Matthew Ota

    Carina’s website reports the download of Voyager has been temporarily disabled due to high traffic. Tehy are working on fixing the problem.

  4. IVAN3MAN

    Hmm… there is always a catch: “[U]ntil you register your copy, Voyager will only display a small portion of the objects in its database, will not control a telescope, and will not recieve [sic] data or program updates.”

    "register" = purchase. :|

  5. Mike

    Does this free offer also include Skygazer and Voyager? I don’t see any information on the site stating yes or no.

    Anyone?

  6. Jack Carter

    Hmm, according to Carina’s web page it looks like only the iPhone version of Sky Voyager is free today, and their other stuff is business as usual. Bummer.

  7. Kevin

    Yeah, I think only the SkyVoyager iPhone app is the only freebie today. Alas, I don’t have an iPhone, but would like the regular, computer-based Voyager. It would compliment by Starry Night Pro program.

  8. Eric T

    Thank you, my son just downloaded it and loves it. Now we just need to get a wifi to serial converter to control our telescope.

  9. Ubermoogle

    Since not all of us out here have drunk the iOcane, are there any other great smartphone applications for other mobile OS phones? Windows Mobile, for instance…?

    Any suggestions would be great. I’m hoping to take my Galileoscope out this week to break it in a bit, and would rather not drag my laptop along with me unless I have to.

  10. Jason Sexton

    I just downloaded both of them from the AppStore through iTunes and they were listed as free. I’m installing them now and I’ll see what happens when I run them.

  11. Veebs

    Windows Mobile software for Smartphone

    1) Astronomist – large database, I have not used it much so I can’t say much more.
    2) Pocket Stars – easy to use only catalogs Messier and Caldwell objects.

    Enjoy!

  12. Jason Sexton

    So far so good. I don’t see anything about registration or purchase. Both apps seem to be fully functional.

  13. TheBlackCat

    In other news, the free star viewer kstars just implemented bending of light around the sun due to general relativity:

    http://kstars.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/simulate-eddingtons-experiment/

    Unfortunately it is only available in the development version (which won’t be readily available until January of next year) and there is no stable version for windows or mac yet (only Linux so far, although windows and mac ports are underway).

  14. jest

    Yeah for both Skygazer and Voyager links (if you click “order” – otherwise there doesn’t appear to be any way to download a usable version), they have the following message:

    TEMPORARILY DISABLED – Due to unexpectedly high volume, this download has been disabled at the request of our webhosting provider. We are working with our hosting provider to resolve this problem. Serial numbers will be emailed to all customers who have purchased them.

    Otherwise, if I’m wrong and those two pieces of PC/Mac software AREN’T actually being offered for free at all, then I want my five minutes back. lol. Saying that they’re offering “free software” is a bit over the top, if in the end, all they’re in fact offering is an app for the iPhone.

  15. Alexander C

    Thanks for the heads up, sir! Downloaded from iTunes and making my iPhone actually useful tonight. For once.

  16. Montsecor

    Both are free (SkyGazer and SkyVoyager) or so it says on the AppStore… i’m downloading both right now! And thanks for the info Phil!!!

  17. Jack Carter

    Grrr…

    “Due to overwhelming (and unexpected!) demand, we’ve had to make some changes to this one-time event.

    First, our iPhone apps SkyVoyager and SkyGazer will continue to be free downloads from the iTunes app store all day long. No changes there!

    At approximately 6:20 AM PDT this morning, we recieved a call from our web-hosting provider, bluehost.com, asking us to suspend the one-cent download offer for our Voyager and SkyGazer desktop software. Demand was so high that our automated serial-number generator, which emails serial numbers to customers, was sending out several thousand emails per hour – putting us in violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) agreement, and causing our email service to be suspended.

    Our email has been restored, and we are catching up on our backlog of missing-serial-number emails manually. All customers who have purchased one-cent downloadable copies of SkyGazer and Voyager should recieve their serial numbers from us by the close of business today, Monday, July 20th, 2009.

    After continued discussion with our web-hosting provider, it is unlikely that we will be able to continue providing our desktop software as one-cent downloads for the remainder of the day. If this situation changes, we will let you know here, first.

    As mentioned above, our iPhone apps SkyVoyager and SkyGazer will continue to be free downloads from the iTunes app store all day long.”

  18. I wonder how many people downloaded it to actually use it and not just because they were getting something free…

    Now, when are they going tobe offering one of their massive german EQ mounts for free?? :D

  19. jest

    I would have actually used the programs had I been able to download them… Considering I’ve been in to astronomy for 25 years and don’t currently own any decent sky software, this wouldn’t have been a download for the sake of a free download.

    But there are some who would probably have downloaded for the sake of it being free.

  20. Crusty

    Stellarium and Cartes Du Ciel are *always* free, and pretty much awesome. Voyager and SkyGazer look pretty poor in comparison.

    The iPhone apps might be interesting though.

  21. Darnit. I actually would love to have Voyager on my Macs (I used to have the PC version, but I’ve since switched platforms) and could use it fairly often as an astronomy professor.

  22. Adrian Lopez

    At approximately 6:20 AM PDT this morning, we recieved a call from our web-hosting provider, bluehost.com, asking us to suspend the one-cent download offer for our Voyager and SkyGazer desktop software. Demand was so high that our automated serial-number generator, which emails serial numbers to customers, was sending out several thousand emails per hour – putting us in violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) agreement, and causing our email service to be suspended.

    Note to self: Should I ever need to host a commercial website, avoid bluehost.com like the plague.

  23. GerardPM
  24. pete

    Surprised noone has mentioned Stallerium (spelling?) total freeware. May not have the same features.

  25. Jim

    This is exactly why I use GoDaddy and Rackspace – Everyone who has bluehost.com as their provider and hopes for a widely successful product should take a lesson from Carina’s software and find a new provider now!

  26. Mike

    I love Stellarium (http://www.stellarium.org/). Fantastic open-source software for exploring the night sky. There’s also Celestia, which may be out dated as it hasn’t been updated in a while. Celestia is more of a solar system browser than a sky viewer.

    Stellarium’s strength is in being very very pretty. It simulates various lens distortions (fisheye, spherical, etc.) and has a library of historical constellations etc.

    Celestia’s strength is in its extensibility. It’s highly customizable. You can add new objects to the universe in a pinch, perhaps creating a fantasy or theoretical star system of your own around arbitrary stars in the sky.

  27. Adrian Lopez

    @pete,

    It’s Stellarium.

  28. Donovan

    Well that sucks. But it was a free offer, so I can’t complain. Still, as Joe Walsh say, sometimes I do. This really sucks.

  29. iBozz

    It’s Stellarium from http://www.stellarium.org/

    I’ve downloaded the free apps from Carina and keenly await the serial numbers.

    My reading is that Voyager455b1Mac and SkyGazer454CD or my macOSX.4.11 are free today (I don’t have an iPhone so haven’t bothered with that one) – I just hope I’m right.

    And in answer to drksky, I’ll be using it and not merely clogging up my somewhat small HD with apps I don’t use!

    Thanks for the heads up for these apps.

  30. SMo

    Thanks for the heads up! Much appreciated!

  31. Thanks for the info, Phil! I jumped on this one like a duck on a June Bug!
    I just tested it against Starry Night Pro and found the RA & Dec numbers, the distance to them, the mass, the apparent magnitude, the moon positions & names and the Alt/az data to be accurate for Jupiter, Neptune & Uranus!
    W00T!
    When I turn on the “realistic” Milky Way, it slows down a bit, but it’s pretty as all heck!
    I have the 32GB iPod Touch, so there’s plenty of room for this one on there.

  32. Jim Ernst

    I downloaded the software, but when it came to getting the serial key, it was too late! I’m in an email conversation with Carina about it, but I’m not holding out too much hope. I’m thinking of going to the Better Business Bureau. Am I overreacting?

  33. Jim Ernst

    It seems I was overreacting. A couple of pleasant emails back and forth, and I got my serial number for the Voyager software. I’ll be playing with it tonight!

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