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Carry the Moon in your pocket with this free iPhone app

Mel Martin

Last week I was pleased to suggest some free astronomy programs of interest to star-gazers. This week, I'm at it again hoping that space or science buffs get a look at Moon Globe.

This very handy app gives you a complete map of our nearest space neighbor, showing you what is visible on any night and from any location. The on-screen display of the moon at the current phase is striking, and very detailed. You can zoom in or out with the usual pinch and stretch moves you are familiar with. It's easy to magnify up to 300 times with stunning detail. With a tap, you will see where spacecraft have landed on the moon and identify surface features like craters, mountain ranges and valleys.

The mosaic of pictures that make up the presentation are seamless, and the app gives you the tools to exactly match what you might see in binoculars or a telescope. That's really helpful, because some telescopes reverse the image left to right, or up and down. You can duplicate those views, so it is easy to match up what you are seeing with the display.

Clicking on surface feature or a spacecraft name will give you some information that is built into the app, or allow you to link directly to Wikipedia or launch a Google search.

There's a lot to like with this app, and with the moon overhead this week, there's a lot to explore. Moon Globe runs on the iPhone and iPod touch, and requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later.

The sky is no longer the limit. Check out some screen shots below.

Gallery: Moon Globe screen shots | 5 Photos

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