Regardless of what you want to observe, it’s important that you know what phase the Moon is in.
You can learn to estimate Moon phases manually, but there are a bunch of free smartphone apps that take the grunt work out of it. These apps do two main things:
1. They tell you everything about the Moon tonight. You can check the phase, the fullness, and what time the Moon rises and sets. If you spontaneously decide to have a stargazing session, you’ll know whether to focus on the Moon or to look for other targets instead.
2. They let you skip ahead to different dates to find the phase you want. This is invaluable in planning your sessions, especially if you’re targeting deep sky objects or meteor showers.
(Tip: If you download a free version, enable Flight Mode before using it to avoid being pestered by ads)
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