Night sky apps
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Night sky apps

Winter brings with it short days and long nights. Why not take advantage of it by doing some night sky photography? When planning night shots, it helps to know things such as in what direction the Milky Way will rise, what time it will be visible, or even just the phase of the moon. There are a lot of apps to help you with this; I recommend Sky Guide for iOS (pictured) or Star Walk 2 for Android.

If you live far enough north to see the aurora borealis (the northern lights), consider downloading an app like Aurora Forecast Pro (iOS, Android) which can alert you when conditions are such that you might be able to see the aurora from your location. All it takes is a burst of solar activity for the aurora to be visible at lower than usual latitudes, including northern areas of the continental US.