8 Best Astrophotography Apps for iPhone & Android in 2024

Best Astrophotography Apps

Can you take astrophotography on your phone? I wish it was as simple to capture moons and stars as just turning on the camera and hitting the shutter. Alas, it is not! But don’t worry; I covered you. There are several tips for capturing the night sky in all its glory; one is the right app.

8 Best Astrophotography Apps for iPhone & Android

Luckily, there are many useful Android and iPhone apps for astrophotography, and here are some of the best Astrophotography apps you should download.

1. Stellarium Plus – The best app for scheduling night photography

Stellarium Plus - Best Astrophotography Apps

The award-winning astronomy app features accurate simulations of the night sky with stars and planets. Just point your phone at the sky, and the app will mark constellations, satellites (such as the ISS), and other deep-sky objects in real time.

But what works for you as an astrophotography enthusiast is that you can also view night sky simulations for any date, time, and location. It helps them plan their upcoming trips and the shots they want to take.

Imagine where to point your telescope and place your Phone to capture this rare planet/star.

2. Light Pollution Map – Dark Sky – Astrophotography app to find the right place

Light Pollution Map Best Astrophotography Apps

You’ve done all the research and leveled all the equipment properly, but you can’t get a clear view because of that infamous layer of contamination. Not many of us can claim a clear view of the sky from our terraces or porches.

This is where LPM comes in handy; it helps to determine a place where the sky will not be subject to light pollution; In short, it accurately guides you to the perfect spot for taking pictures of the night sky or gazing at the stars.

And for all the northern lights lovers, also known as aurora fanatics, the app provides you with operational information such as CP value, magnetic field, and more. There is also a mesmerizing visibility map for the northern and southern hemispheres with additional time-lapse options!!

3. Dark Sky Weather Forecast – perfect weather for astrophotography

Dark Sky Weather Forecast

Clearly, cloudless skies are essential to enjoying, observing, and photographing the night sky. However, most overlook the importance of transparency and visibility.

The first refers to the purity of the sky, in other words, the ratio of humidity and dust; usually, transparency is best in winter and poor in summer. As far as visibility is concerned, it refers to the stability of the atmosphere.

Dancing or blurry stars denote phenomena. Visibility is usually best late at night and worst in the early evening. OH MY GOD! That’s a lot of data to consider, and that’s why detailed weather apps like Dark Sky are essential for astrophotography.

Why do I prefer this one? Because it offers hyper local weather information and the most accurate forecasts, which saves me time, money, and energy when planning photo trips.

4. Sky Guide – the best app to expand your astronomy knowledge

Sky Guide

Deep knowledge of the sky can be crucial. Having the right knowledge on a topic can increase your productivity and productivity. And most importantly, it will constantly feed the fire of your passion.

Designed for stargazing, Sky Guide uses rich graphics and essential information to tell you about your sky above, from constellations, planets, and satellites. Plus, with cinematic time control, you can travel to the past or future as you wish.

This also means that you will know the exact location of the moon/stars/planets in the sky and be able to prepare your camera and equipment accordingly. Sky Guide can work with or without GPS, cellular, or Wi-Fi, which works literally anywhere and everywhere.

5. NightCap Camera – the best app for low-light photography

NightCap Camera Best Astrophotography Apps

NightCap is a powerful camera for shooting at night or in low light. It boasts AI camera control that automatically sets the optimal focus and exposure to make the shot brighter and clearer.

Additional features such as 4K slow motion, ISO boost, long exposure mode, noise reduction mode, 8x zoom control, and more let you explore and experiment with your shots.

The best part of the app is its four dedicated astrophotography modes. The Stars mode is for capturing the starry sky or the Northern/Southern Lights. Star Trails captures the moments when the stars draw circles in the sky.

And then there is The International Space Station (ISS), and meteor modes, specially designed for shooting satellites and shooting stars.

6. PhotoPills – The best app for legendary night sky photos


A handy app for any photographer for astronomical, wedding, or landscape photography. It is a photo plan manager that will help you know the exact location of the Sun, Moon, and Milky Way at any given time.

What’s unique is that it uses augmented reality to show you likely scenarios in a matter of hours. You can use this information to frame your shot ahead of time and make sure the moment doesn’t slip through your fingers.

The app also has built-in calculators for long exposure, pinpoint stars, star trails, timelapse, hyperfocal table, depth of field, and field of view. And in addition to upcoming photo plans, handy widgets also provide information on all Sun, Moon, and Milky Way events for your location and date.

7. Satellite Tracker by Star Walk – best app for tracking the ISS and satellites

Satellite Tracker by Star Walk

As the name suggests, this app allows you to track artificial satellites, including SpaceX Stalinks satellites, communications, and weather forecasting satellites. Along with tracking the exact location of the satellite, it provides you with detailed time-of-flight data and transit forecasts.

And all you have to do to get this information is select a satellite from the list. What’s more, you can set a timer until the next flyby and plan and prepare for your shot accordingly.

The app also includes a satellite view that shows you a 3D image of a satellite flying over the Earth with real speed and location. This is a great asset for every satellite fan, whether they want to take pictures of them or look at them.

8. Compass∞ is the best app for navigating to the right place


How can a compass app help with astrophotography? Location is everything; you would love to miss out on the best spots during an astronomical event, right? And what could be better than a compass to make sure you’re in the right place and looking in the right direction?

What’s good about it is its accuracy and special features like cardinal direction, altitude reading, speedometer, flashlight, latitude/longitude display, temperature readings, and voice option, among others.

How to use your phone for Astrophotography

How to use your phone for Astrophotography

It is clear that if you approach the organization of astrophotography with the utmost seriousness, then in addition to objective conditions (weather, terrain, time, etc.) and a perfect SLR camera, you also need a lot of expensive professional equipment. And if there are only conditions and a smartphone?

However, if the task is to shoot not just “Oh, what beautiful stars!”, But to end up with what can be called astrography, moreover, it is highly desirable, of more or less decent quality, then you also need to try. So, the starry sky is in sight; there is a smartphone.  

Mastering the “Camera.”

You must be able to work competently with the so-called manual settings of the Camera application.

Otherwise, “astrophotography” from a smartphone will not work (more precisely, something will work out and, perhaps, something beautiful, but it will not be astrography). What are the settings? To begin, you must understand how to set the focus to infinity, increase the ISO, increase the exposure time, and activate the delay timer.

In addition, if the device can shoot in RAW format, then this function must also be enabled. To get better and more complete source material for further processing.

We also note that many flagship smartphones (Google Pixel in particular) already have a ready-made astrophotography mode (“Night sky”) in the “Camera” application, as a rule, as one of the options for the standard night mode (or shooting in conditions insufficient external lighting).

So, first, we open the Camera application on our smartphone and carefully study what it can and cannot do. And along the way, we decide whether what is enough is enough, or is it better to deliver a special program for shooting the night sky (more on that later).

Securely Fix the Smartphone at the Right Angle

Yes, more than one smartphone is needed. For all their current sophistication, without a good modern tripod with the right “head” and a special holder, it’s impossible to take astrophotography and a high-quality picture of the night sky, not on a smartphone or a real DSLR.  

Moreover, in several situations, it would be good to have a control panel with a tripod, with which you can press the shutter remotely without touching the screen or the buttons of the device. However, a regular smartphone headset should be enough for this, provided it is wired and has a built-in remote control. Well, or try to get by with a timer.

We Put Special Software for Shooting in the Dark

As we have already said, more than the existing Camera application may be needed for astrography capabilities- settings and functions. Unpleasant but not terrible.

For such moments, there are special applications for shooting in the dark. True, the functionality we need is rarely free. But art, whatever one may say, also requires some costs, especially since applications are not so expensive.

In general, for the iPhone, we can recommend the NightCap Camera mobile program (we search the App Store by name) – for only 3 bucks; we get a full set of manual settings, as well as a special “astronomical” mode for shooting in the dark and at dusk. The ProCam X program works very well on Android smartphones (see it on the Play Store) – it also has a lot of manual camera settings and will obviously be better than the built-in “Camera” of a non-flagship device, but $5.

I Put a Photo Editor

Nothing without him, either. After all, the most important thing is that even when the future astrophotography on the smartphone screen looks like a “black square,” then it is in the photo editor that you will bring it to mind. Or at least make sure that the stars on it are clearly visible.

Of course, this work is delicate and painstaking. Therefore, it is better to do it on a computer – it has a larger screen, and computer versions of modern photo editors can do more than mobile ones. In general, it is more convenient and easier to work with them.

But if a company is not expected nearby and you need to edit the material only in mobile mode, then download Snapseed or Adobe Lightroom. They have tools for zooming, controlling exposure levels, etc.


This point could have been put first. But as you, we hope, have already understood, with the previous four, there will be more sense from it (if it exists).

So, proceeding directly to an attempt to take astrophotography with a smartphone camera, we take into account the following:

It is not necessary to point the lens vertically upwards; we try to capture, so to speak, earthly objects with the edge – buildings, trees, the horizon line (if it is distinguishable) – such pictures are always more interesting, especially when taken with a slow shutter speed;

Due to the long (long) shutter speed, the stars in the picture will inevitably leave “tails” that are not always appropriate (but if they are just needed, then this is another matter);

Astrophotography is one of the most difficult to master, one of the most labor-intensive, and most expensive (in terms of equipment cost) types of photography. If you didn’t manage to shoot the night sky on a smartphone the first time, then, in fact, it should be so – experiment, analyze the error, and learn further – next time, it will definitely work out!


Astrophotography is undoubtedly one of the most typical areas of photography that requires a test of patience. And if you’re an owl with a special connection to the stars and other celestial bodies, I hope this list will help you learn and master the art of astrophotography on your iPhone and Android.

Share your experience with these apps in the comment section below. And remember to share your pictures with us; feel free to tag #TheSoftBest on your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook profile.