Moon Globe HD
By Midnight Martian
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Hold the Moon in your hands. Moon Globe HD turns your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a precision instrument for viewing Earth's Moon. Satellite imagery and topographic laser altimeter data are combined to render the Moon with realistic lighting in realtime 3D.
Use the multitouch screen to manipulate the view. Spin above the surface, or switch to Telescope mode to see the Moon as it appears from your location on Earth. Adjust the display time and watch the sunlight shift over the lunar landscape. A "tag cloud" floats just above the surface, labeling terrain features and spacecraft; touch any label to find out more about that feature. Moon Globe also shows you where the Moon and Sun are in the sky with its dynamic sky compass.
*** PLEASE NOTE ***: Regular Moon Globe is a smaller download and is free. This HD version has slightly, not extremely, better resolution and rendering; it is intended for people who have already tried the free version and liked it.
What's New in Version 2.2.4
Improved spin rate, especially for iPhone 5.
The Moon does not have an atmosphere
This app is not very useful as a guide for observing the Moon simply because the terminator (the line between light and dark) fades vaguely across the Moon's surface rather than being a sharp line. Midnight Martian seems to have imported the terminator from their Mars Globe app -- Mars has an atmosphere and therefore twilight, but the Moon is airless and the terminator is perfectly sharp. You need to know where the Moon's terminator is at any given time to identify craters and other features seen through a telescope.
The vague terminator is the biggest problem with this app, but it also lacks information important to the serious observer, such as lunar latitude and longitude, libration, and anything beyond the most basic information about specific lunar objects. A link to wikipedia is fine when you have an internet connection and time to read a wikipedia article, but I would expect a mobile app to have more information available from within the app, and to have it organized in a quickly useful format.
This is an astonishing app! It's unbelievable how they are able to maintain realistic lighting contrast and shadows as the terminator progresses through the lunar month, and as you zoom in on a feature, the clarity remains undiminished almost to the very end. I guesstimate that at it's closest zoom it's the same as using a 300x eyepiece--the crater Clavius fills the whole screen! Four stars because of three things: the terminator needs to be more clearly defined (as it appears in a telescope) and giving the current longitude of the terminator would be enormously helpful to amateur astronomers. Also, the labels are totally white. At full moon some craters (like Tycho & Aristarchus) are also totally white, so the labels can't be read. Is it possible to use a font that has black borders around the letters? But these are minor issues compared to the overall impact. It boggles the mind!
Fabulous App - One of my Must-Have's
This app is amazing. If you're into astronomy or not, it's a must-have for the iPad. Just having the globe do nothing more than spin smoothly is satisfying in itself. My favorite feature is the Illumination slider. It accurately simulates the shadows as the Moon goes through it's phases. Search for Rupes Recta (the "Straight Wall"), a 1,000 mile long fault caused by a Moon quake, visible through small telescopes as a pencil line across the surface. This app finds Rupes Recta quickly, then simulates the shadows perfectly using the slider. It's hard to believe the app is priced so low for the iPad. It's great value at twice the price. To "Midnight Martian", the author, what were you thinking?
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- Category: Education
- Updated: Sep 28, 2012
- Version: 2.2.4
- Size: 244 MB
- Language: English
- Seller: Michael Howard
- © 2009 Michael R. Howard
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.