Installation and setup
Technical Requirements For Night Sky
iPad Air / iPad mini 2 or above
iPhone (iPhone 5s or above)
iPod touch (6th Generation or above)
Apple Watch (All Models – Series 5 or above for auto calibration)
Apple TV (4th Generation or above)
tvOS 10 (or later)
After installation and setup are complete the core functions of Night Sky do not require a wi-fi or cellular data connection.
The Stargazing Conditions, Night Sky Tonight and Night Sky News features require an Internet connection to function. Satellite data is occasionally updated in the background and this also requires an internet connection but Night Sky will continue to function even if this is not possible.
Installing Night Sky
1. Tap the App Store app on your Home screen.
2. Browse or search for Night Sky then tap the icon for the app.
3. Tap Get. You might need to sign in with your Apple ID. You will be offered the option to select the Premium version.
Night Sky is ready for use when it finishes downloading.
Tap on this icon on your device’s home screen to start Night Sky. Once the app has launched hold your device toward the sky and watch as the stars and celestial bodies appear on your screen!
Geolocation permissions are needed to create an accurate Sky View and provide local push notifications.
Push notifications are needed to update you about the stargazing conditions, rising times of objects, International Space Station (ISS) flyovers, breaking news stores and other events. Notifications can be customised.
Access to the Calendar is required so that the app can suggest Night Sky Tours for upcoming vacations and trips in your Calendar and to remind you about planetary positions, meteor showers, space launches and other upcoming events.
Sky View is the heart of Night Sky.
Sky View presents you with a real-time simulation of the sky as currently seen from your own location or other location of your choice. Over 60 million stars are included. It is a 360° view and you can move it around with your finger or by moving your device. You can zoom in on an object by “pulling apart” with two fingers.
The sky appears a deep blue in Sky View at all times, but in the Preferences menu there is an option to give the daytime sky a lighter blue hue.
In default view, the horizon is shown as a purple line. There are cardinal point indicators (N, NE, E etc) located on the horizon to show the direction you are facing.
You can add a simulated environment to the horizon (above) in the Preferences menu. These include simulations of the skyline visible from New York City, London, Paris and other major cities.
The stars are grouped into areas of the sky called constellations which are defined by some of the star patterns described by ancient civilisations or created by astronomers in historical times. Modern astronomers use 88 constellations. You can make these constellations more apparent in Sky View by selecting “Show constellation lines” in the preferences section. This will highlight the constellation’s shape by adding lines joining the brightest stars in the constellation.
For a historic perspective on the sky, you can add “Glass Mythology” figures to Sky View. These appear as transparent artistic impressions of the people, creatures and objects which inspired the constellations.
Both the constellation lines and glass mythology figures can be made to fade away if you prefer. You can do this in the Preferences menu.
You can select alternative views with the buttons in the upper right of Sky View.
Press this button to turn on Night Sky Blending to merge the Sky View graphics with the real sky as seen by the camera on your device. The graphics and text help you to identify objects in the sky.
Touching this symbol again returns to the simulated view.
Use this button to shift to Night Sky Compass mode. This is a quick guide to what you will see in the sky through the night. You can move the time back and forward with the slider control along the bottom. How many hours (plus or minus) you are offset from current time is displayed in a pink box at upper left. The stars and planets around the compass move as the time is adjusted, so that you can see which bright stars are visible at specified times and in specific directions.
Use this button to shift to Dark Adaptation View. This makes Night Sky appear with a dim red backlight. Using this mode when you are observing the sky helps to maintain your eyes’ dark adaptation.
An estimated percentage of the light pollution at the Sky View location appears in the lower right corner. Touching this will take you to the Light Pollution tab on the Menu Interface (Premium feature).
Light Pollution Simulator
Place two fingers anywhere in Sky View and move them up or down to increase or decrease star density. This will simulate different types of sky based on light pollution, from inner city skies to an excellent dark sky sites.
Touching many objects, such as planets and bright stars, in Sky View will display a link which will take you to a screen of additional information on the object (based on data from wikipedia.org). Buttons at the bottom allow you to access addition features. There are:
Add object to your Notifications
Go to 3D Model (Moons, planets and satellites only)
This the Planetary Landing button. Use it to switch Sky View location to a point on object’s surface (Moon and planets only)
Share content with this button.
Many constellations, stars, planets and moons allow you to zoom into an Augmented Reality (AR) 3D model of the object.
This button allows you close the model.
This button allows you to view additional information on the modelled object.
This button allows you to share the model via iMessage with USDZ.
This button will add the rising time of the object over the horizon to your notifications.
This is the Planetary Landing button. Use it to switch your Sky View location to a point on the object’s surface (Moon and planets only)
Use these buttons to toggle between exterior and internal views of planets and moon. This reveals the details of the internal structure of the object.
This button will open a tutorial on how to explore objects in AR.
With a double tap you can pull planets, stars, constellations and satellites out of the sky to examine in AR. Object exploration creates a 3D object centre for you to explore in more detail. You can add a Siri shortcut and share planets via iMessage with USDZ. When you finish you can throw the object back into the Night Sky.
Tapping on a planet, dwarf planet or moon will also switch your Sky View location to a point on its surface.
You can expand the Menu Interface to the height of your screen by pulling on the tab at the bottom. This will reveal more tiles.
Type in the name of an object and Night Sky will tell you about it. Night Sky’s database includes Solar System planets, dwarf planets plus their brighter moons, many comets, Earth satellites and rocket bodies. The database also includes constellations, stars, Messier Objects and selected deep sky objects. Each object has a concise description.
You can use this button to find the object in Sky View.
You can narrow your search by deselecting categories. The categories include Constellations, Stars, Planets and Dwarf Planets.
Use Settings to configure and customize your Night Sky settings. You can set your language, change your Night Sky preferences, choose events for notifications, and much more.
The settings for specific features are explained in the sections for those features. The following sections give some examples of common settings, including how to find them.
List of Settings
My Sky Notifications
Tap the + button in the top right to add your favourite sky objects to notifications
The Preferences are described in their own section of this manual.
Remove GAIA Stars
If your device is running short of memory space, you can remove the stars from the GAIA catalogue from the app. This will save about 1GB of memory space from your device but will reduce the amount of stars visible in sky view.
This takes you to your device’s Settings.
With iOS 12 or higher you can identify stars by holding your device to the sky and asking “Siri, what star is that?” This will work even if you haven’t launched Night Sky. You can even quickly find night sky objects at any time by adding them to your Siri Shortcuts.
Manage iOS Settings
This takes you to your device’s Settings. Here you can allow Night Sky to access your Location, Calendar, Photos, Camera, Siri & Search, Notifications and Background App Refresh.
This allows you to cancel your premium subscription, upgrade to Night Sky Unlimited and restore past purchases.
This takes you a short interactive demonstration of Night Sky’s features.
This allows you to visit the official iCandi Apps Facebook and Twitter accounts and send emails to support@NightSky.com
Use this to send a link to Night Sky to your friends and family.
Use this to take a screenshot from Night Sky and share it by email or social media.
Your current location is displayed here.
Your current date and time are displayed here.
Clicking on this tile opens an interface allowing you to change the time and date. The Night Sky view will change to reflect this. You can move forward and back in time. This allows you, for example, to plan stargazing sessions for the evening ahead or look back to identify a planet you observed the week before.
This displays the projected stargazing conditions for the forthcoming evening. There will be estimates of the cloud coverage and best time for observing.
You can also see the current temperature and Sun and Moon rising times at your location in this tile.
Touching this tile shows you more details. These include:
• The planets visible this evening with their rising and setting times.
• The time of the International Space Station’s next flyover for your location along with its current crew roster.
• A table of useful current stargazing conditions for your location
• A graph displaying your location’s predicted stargazing conditions rating across the hours of darkness for the night ahead.
• A table of your location’s predicted stargazing conditions for the next six days.
• A graph of your location’s predicted stargazing conditions for the next six days.
My Tours – PREMIUM ONLY
Selecting this tile allows you to design a Night Sky Tour in Sky View for a time and location of your choice. You can pick a location from a map or find a location by using the search bar. Once you have selected a location you will be invited to use either the current date or a custom date.
During a tour you will be prompted to move your device to follow an arrow to find a series of objects in Sky View or in the sky in AR mode.
The tour will show you notable objects visible in the sky at that location including the time they rise over the horizon. If you are going to be travelling, you can use this to plan what you will see there.
Completed tours are stored for you to replay. Stored tours can be deleted by holding their tiles until an X appears in the corner, pressing this will permanently delete the tour.
Live Sky Tour – PREMIUM ONLY
Selecting this allows you to pick a Night Sky Tour in Sky View based on your current time and location. A short tour will show you the major constellations and planets, a medium tour will show more constellations plus the International Space Station and the long tour will point out bright stars in the constellations as well.
Aurora Forecast – PREMIUM ONLY
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky caused by particles ejected from the Sun. They are mostly visible in northerly and southerly regions around the Arctic and Antarctic.
Touching this tile will display a map showing your location with the closest area where an auroral display may be visible in the next 24 hours indicated in purple. The closest population centres in this area to your location are listed below the map with their distance and estimated percentage chance of an aurora being visible. Note that aurora are very unpredictable phenomena and their visibility can be limited by the local weather so aurorae may not be visible in the indicated area.
Light Pollution – PREMIUM ONLY
Light pollution is the presence of human-made artificial light in the night environment. Excessive light pollution can limit your ability to see dimmer objects in the night=time sky.
Touching this tile will display a map showing your location with superimposed colour-coding indicating how severe the light pollution is in your region. Your location is identified under the map.
If you are at a site with low light pollution you can share its location with the astronomical community by touching the white marker tag under the map.
The closest official Dark Sky site, along with its distance from your location and other details, is identified under your location. More of the closest dark sky locations are listed on tabs below this. Sliding a site’s tab to the side allows you to access more information about the site and to get travel directions to the site. Note that this will exit Night Sky and take you to a mapping app on your device.
Night Sky Mindfulness – PREMIUM ONLY
Mindfulness is a relaxation technique where you concentrate on your mind, body and breathing.
This tile takes you to a menu where you can select a mindfulness breathing session of your preferred duration. The Mindfulness session takes you to Sky View (with interactivity disabled). You will be invited to follow a breathing cue with a gentle musical accompaniment. Your Mindfulness Minutes can be shared to Apple Health.
Grand Orrery – PREMIUM ONLY
An orrery is a scale model of the Solar System to illustrate the relative positions and motions of the planets.
This tile lets you access Night Sky’s Grand Orrery. Night Sky includes an augmented reality orrery which you can bring into your home, classroom or office to simulate the positions of the Moon, planets, and other Solar System features.
This feature is explained in its own section of the guide.
Planetary Portals – PREMIUM ONLY
This tile lets you step onto the surface of other planets by placing augmented reality (AR) portals around your room.
This feature is explained in its own section of the guide.
Night Sky News
This tile takes to you our news section. Selecting a tile in the Night Sky News area takes to you a fascinating news story or feature from the exciting worlds of space and astronomy. You can find out more about what’s in the sky tonight, discover stories from space history and even catch breaking news. Many stories have links to take you to celestial objects in Sky View or add upcoming space events to your device’s Calendar.
You can leave your own comments at the end of every story. You can also email the story’s author to ask your own Night Sky questions or share your experiences and pictures with the world-wide Night Sky community.
Clicking on a tile in this selection takes you to a menu of upcoming Night Sky events, including links to take you to the events’ celestial objects in Sky View or add events to your device’s Calendar.
A planetarium is a science education facility where simulated night skies are projected on a domed ceiling.
Touching this tile displays the closest planetariums, public observatories and space science museums to your location and their distances from your location.
Touching the tile brings up a map showing the locations of the planetariums. Touching the information button on the location tag takes you to each planetarium’s entry in the World Planetarium database. Return to the Menu by touching the Done button.
Making images of the sky and celestial objects with a camera is called Astrophotography.
Touching this tile lets you access Night Sky’s powerful astrophotography tools to image the sky. These are explained in their own section of this guide.
Siri “What star is that?”
Use this to connect Night Sky with Siri. You can create a Siri short cut so that you can ask “Siri” to identify stars and other objects. (iOS 12 or above only.)
This tile opens a menu where you can choose a fun quiz to test your Night Sky knowledge. You can pick themed quizzes covering Satellites, Deep Space, Stars, Living in Space, Space History, Planets and Solar System. When the quiz finishes, you can see your score and share it with your friends by email or social media.
Night Sky Unlimited
This gives you the option to become a Night Sky Premium member. In exchange for a one-off payment, premium members get permanent access to all of the Night Sky premium content.
Night Sky can play music to set the mood for stargazing.
Pick the musical background that suits you. There are five gentle and atmospheric pieces to choose from.
Use this to change the sounds Night Sky plays when you get a notification, choose an option or other interaction.
When this is activated you will feel a “tap” after you perform some actions (on supported devices only).
Turn System Haptics off or on.
Use this control to keep the interface menu on screen or permit it to fade out.
Kilometres are the default distance measurement in Night Sky. If you prefer you can switch to miles with this control.
Degrees Celsius are the default temperature measurement in Night Sky. If you prefer you can switch to degrees Fahrenheit with this control.
Use this to align your device with the compass in Sky View.
This slider controls the responsivity of the screen to your finger movements.
Turning this on shows the location of bright Earth satellites in sky view. When Show Satellites is selected you are given the option to turn on Rocket Bodies. If selected this will also display the brighter Rocket Bodies (discarded rockets) in Earth orbit.
Night Mode (Red)
This makes Night Sky appear with a dim red backlight. Using this mode when you are observing the sky helps to maintain your eyes’ dark adaptation.
Real Sky Representation
When this is selected, the sizes of planets, satellites and other objects are depicted realistically in Sky View. When this control is turned off, the sizes of planets, satellites and other objects are exaggerated to make them easier to recognise.
Environment Based Horizons
Selecting this removes the line representing the horizon and applies a simulated environment (including buildings) to the horizon in Sky View.
When this is selected, a lighter blue day sky effect is applied in Sky View.
Draw Trajectories and Orbits
When this option is selected, touching a planet, satellite and some other objects in Sky View will display a dashed line representing its orbital path. The orbits of planets and recognised dwarf planets are shown in orange, Earth-orbiting satellite orbits are in red and the Moon’s in blue.
Show Ecliptic Line
The Ecliptic is the mean plane of the planets in the Solar System. Turning this on shows it as a yellow dashed line in Sky View.
Show Glass Mythology
This superimposes a semi-transparent image over the constellations on screen in Sky View. These images are artist’s renderings of the object or character each constellation represents. When you move away from the constellation, the Glass Constellation “melts” and fades away.
Stop Glass Mythology Melting
You can stop the Glass Constellations from fading away. They will remain visible in Sky View.
Show Constellation Lines
When this is activated the brighter stars in a constellation are connected by narrow white lines. This makes it easier to pick out the constellation. When you move away from the constellation, the lines fade away.
Stop Text and Lines Disappearing
You can stop the Constellation Lines and associated text from fading away. They will remain visible in Sky View.
Enable Messier Objects
Messier Objects are a set of 104 deep space objects catalogued by astronomer Charles Messier. When this is activated labelled graphical depictions of each Messier object are displayed at the correct location in Sky View. These depictions are not to scale and appear much brighter than the object appears in Earth’s sky.
You can use this control to activate an identifier and animated graphic of each of the annual meteor showers. The animated graphic appears in the correct location for the shower and is displayed for a few days before and after the peak of the showers.
The Hipparcos catalogue is a list of 118,200 stars. It was created by the European Space Agency.
When this is selected, every star in the Hipparcos catalogue is labelled with its identifier in Sky View. The identifier is the letter “HIP” followed by a string of numbers. These appear as you in on stars.
The slider bar can be used adjust the size of the text in Sky View.
Night Sky is compatible with the Voiceover screen reader supported in iOS devices. Voiceover can be turned on in your device’s Settings.
Do Not Disturb
The slider bar can be used to limit notification messages and sounds to the time range you have selected.
Night Sky comes with a powerful suite of astrophotography tools which you can access through the Astrophotography tile in the Menu Interface. These tools are described below.
The images made in Night Sky are stored in Photos on your device.
Use image mode to take still images and video mode to take videos
Exposure and ISO settings
You can control how much light your camera lets in with these controls.
Turn ISO Lock on to manually override the auto light settings
The ISO sensitivity to light can be adjusted with the slider from 24 to 768.
Turn the exposure lock on to manually override the duration your camera absorbs light for.
Use the slide to manually set the time the camera absorbs light for from 0.001 second to 0.5 second.
Shorter exposures are possible with higher ISO settings but this will increase the “noise” in the image, reducing its quality. You can experiment to optimise these settings for the image you are making.
Turn the Focus Lock on to manually control the digital focus of the camera with a slider.
Use this to manually control the digital zoom of the camera (x1 to x10) with a slider.
Star and Satellite Trails
This allows you to capture the trails of stars and satellites. It leaves your camera’s lens open for several minutes. For best results your device should be left stationary while you do this.
In this mode your camera becomes more sensitive but the images will be “noisier”. “Noise” is the term used to describe dots which may appear in your image.
This function will help to remove these dots.
Select an option to use presets to automatically optimise your camera’s zoom and light input settings for capturing particular objects. You can select Moon, Stars and Constellations or Planet.
Image Alignment Tools
Use this function to select one of five possible grids (2×2, 3×3, 5×5, 9×9). A grid is superimposed over your screen to help you to align the object(s) in your image. The grid will not appear in your image.
This presents a short guide to the most important features in the Astrophotography tools.
Use this to leave Astrophotography mode and return to the main Night Sky app.
Night Sky includes an augmented reality orrery which you can bring into your home, classroom or office. It accurately simulates the positions of the planets, Moon, Earth satellites and some NASA spacecraft exploring the Solar System.
Drag with two fingers to move the Solar System around the surrounding scene and pinch with two fingers change the scale of the orrery.
You can change the time and date represented by the orrery with the time and calendar bar at the button of the screen.
This control can turn the background stars and constellations on or off.
You can turn off the orbital paths of Solar System objects with this button.
This button turns the artificial satellites and interplanetary missions on and off.
Touch here to reorientate the Solar System to the direction you are facing.
This button adjusts your camera’s light intensity. This allows you to change the brightness of the surroundings to make it easy to see the details of the orrery.
This button turns on and off the relative sizing of the planets. This allows you to see the planets at their correct relative sizes.
This button starts a short interactive tutorial demonstrating the features of the orrery.
This feature allows you to add augmented reality (AR) “portals” to other locations in the Solar System around your local environment. You can choose portals to the Sun, the planets, dwarf planets and their largest moons.
AR Portals supports People Occlusion with ARKIt 3.0 (iOS11 or above only). This means that a person can walk in front of a virtual object and it will appear behind them.
Touch this to add a new Planetary Portal to your surroundings. A yellow box will appear on your screen. Move your device until this box is placed over the location where you want the portal to appear.
Touching this button connects to other users’ devices so your friends and family can share the Planetary Portals experience.
Touching this button refreshes the portals.
This button starts a short interactive tutorial showing the Planetary Portals controls.
Removing Night Sky from your Device
You can remove Night Sky from your device by following these steps.
1. Touch and hold the app.
2. Tap Delete App.
3. Tap Delete.
If you wish to delete Night sky, you should also cancel your Premium subscription if you have one.
If Night Sky isn’t working properly, you can quit it and then try to reopen it. Restarting Night Sky may resolve the problem.
If restarting Night Sky doesn’t solve your problem, try restarting your device.
You should also ensure that you are using the current version of Night Sky.
There is a Frequently Asked Questions section at www.icandiapps.com/support/
If you need further assistance you can directly email support@NightSky.com We will endeavour to respond to any query within 48 hours.
Night Sky and all contents © iCandi Apps Limited
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