One of my favorite pastimes is being outside walking at night and looking into the stars. One issue was I had no way to tell what star was what and where various planets were. Of course there were a few I could find, like Orion's Belt or The Milky Way. But what about those more obscure ones, how could I detect which is which? With the BlackBerry PlayBook and Stellarium there is now a way. Stellarium for the PlayBook is actually really cool; it uses the GPS and the on-board compass to pinpoint not only your location, but also where you’re looking. It also features over 2 million stars, a realistic Milky Way and more.

Main features
  • Realistic rendering of more than 2 million stars, planets and their satellites
  • GPS and magnetometer (compass) support for automatic location detection and point-and-view functionality
  • Asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
  • Realistic Milky Way and images of nebulae including full Messier catalogue
  • Azimuthal and equatorial grids
  • Celestial object search, powerful zoom
  • Configurable location, landscape, projections...

One of the cool things about the application is that the developer has built it in a way that allows you to change things in the environment and add things like fog or even go to various locations around the globe. If virtually traveling around the globe isn’t for you, don’t worry because you can stay right at home and look up to the stars in your own backyard. I was somewhat disappointed that the developer of Stellarium didn't include any manuals. With an application this complex, navigating such a large number of options and settings proves a daunting task. So one note to the developer would be to provide a help section on what does what in a future update.

If you’re an avid stargazer or are just curious about what you’re looking at in the night sky, you will want to download Stellarium for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Stellarium can be found in BlackBerry App World for 1.99. 

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