Boredof checking that stripped-down version of Facebook? Try space instead. NASAwill phone home daily views of the infinite cosmos, as long as you're sportinga shiny new Apple iPhone and a neat new software application.
Eagerstar-gazers can download the iAPODViewer, developed by the London-basedsoftware company Send Me to Space, and receive pictures directly from NASA'sAstronomy Pictureof the Day Web site. A professional astronomer's description accompanieseach picture.
"TheiAPOD application allows people to get a unique glimpse of our fascinatinguniverse directly on their mobile phone," said Michael Kaye, a leadiAPODViewer developer.
Kayesaid that the company hopes the new app will "encourage a whole newgeneration of space enthusiasts" who want to gawk at space images on themove. That almost goes unsaid for astronomy students and space enthusiasts whodon't mind shelling out a little over $2 at the Apple iTunes Store
iPhoneusers can take advantage of a keyword search function to uncover every Pictureof the Day ever published, as well as save their favoritepictures. Shaking the iPhone or iPod Touch produces a random image eachtime.
Thesoftware is also compatible with iPhone Safari, but specifically designed fromthe streamlined interface of an iPhone, designers said.
Thenew Apple app joins a growing number of astronomy-centered software fornetizens, including Microsoft's free online WorldWideTelescope which allows users to zip through a virtual night sky.
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