Last weekend, while enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, we had a fire going in the fire pit. Sitting outside, taking in the clear Big Sky night, my 2nd grader asked me if I still had "the star thing" on my phone.

I did (like four phones ago) so I promptly re-installed it on my current phone. I forgot how much I love the Google Sky app. It's free in the Google Play Store, and once installed, you just point your phone up in whatever direction you want to look and it shows you the star names, constellations, planets, etc.  For Apple users, the Night Sky app looks like it has similar functions.

When I was a kid I would have LOVED to have this technology. Back then, all we had were complicated paper maps, that never seemed to match the sky I was looking at. Sure, we could find the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and maybe Orion. My grandpa was great for pointing out the North Star. When we were kids we figured any object brighter than the rest of the stars was "probably Venus or Mars." Educated guesses, at the time and probably wrong.

Speaking of cool apps, have you downloaded the free Hawk Mobile app yet? It's pretty slick.

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