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Orrery ViewPlanetscope is an app for Android and BlackBerry 10 phones that calculates the positions of the 8 major planets as they orbit around the Sun, as well as the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, displaying the results on 4 different views:

  • Top-down ‘orrery’ view showing the relative locations of the planets to each other and to the Sun.
  • Sky view, showing the planets locations in the sky, as viewed from your current GPS location.
  • Size comparison view, showing the relative size and brightness of the planets to each other, as viewed from Earth.
  • Data view, giving detailed numerical readouts related to the orbit of each planet/object

The displayed time can be altered and animated, fast-forwarding the planets’ motion to help predict interesting astronomical events and to visualise various concepts about how our Solar System works.

The readings calculated for each object include Rise/Set times, Altitude/Azimuth, Right Ascension/Declination, Distances from Earth/Sun, Apparent Magnitude/Apparent Diameter, Elongation and Phase. Objects shown: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Note that all readings are calculated in real-time within the program, so no internet connection is required.