Astronomy Guide provides the astronomer with information on what to see in the sky, and how well it can be seen! Astronomy Guide can give a summary of atmospheric and seeing conditions for the night's sky at your location. Provides moon phase, sunrise, and sunset info, in addition to atmospheric conditions. Ask for viewing highlights for this month or an upcoming month, and Astronomy Guide will provide observing events, highlights, and visible Messier objects for evenings during the month. Astronomy Guide can also describe whether the Sun is displaying any sunspots, to help guide your daytime observing. Additional phrases include:
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide for seeing conditions near Madison, Wisconsin." [Or just about any world city]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide which planets are visible in June." [Your choice of month.]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide for observing highlights in March." [Again, your choice of month.]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide if I can see M42." [full Messier catalogue available, along with suggestions during each month.]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide for info on Ganymede." [try your favorite solar system object]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide for a sunspot report." [provides live data from NOAA]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide how far Neptune is." [try your favorite solar system object]
"Alexa, ask Astronomy Guide how bright M44 is." [try your favorite Messier Object or solar system object]
"Alexa, tell Astronomy Guide to set default location to Madison, Wisconsin." [Saves for future use. Can be cleared or changed later on.]
Note: Planet rise times, visibility data only cover the northern hemisphere. Southern hemisphere coming soon!
Data from US NOAA, ClearDarkSky.com, MeteoBlue (meteoblue.com), and the Canadian Meteorological Centre. 2017 viewing highlights from Guy Ottewell's Astronomic Calendar (universalworkshop.com/guysblog). Calculations supported by PyEphem. Powered by DarkSky (DarkSky.net). Autolocation from , Weather Underground (weatherunderground.com). Astronomy Guide does not claim ownership of information from these sources, and does not profit from redistribution of these data.
I live out in the country about a mile outside the nearest village, so I do a lot of viewing with a 10" Dobsonian. I played with this skill a little this morning, and it did a great job talking about the viewing conditions. It'll save me the trouble of having to check websites. The highlights are nice, too. I usually use an app on my phone (SkySafari 4 Pro) to get some ideas, but this helps a bit too. I will say that the highlights can drag on for a while. They also seem to concentrate on planets and asteroids, but I've only been checking it for one day. It might be nice if it suggested some other things like a globular cluster that'll be in a decent position or a galaxy or something, but that's not really as important and I can get that off of SkySafari anyways.
Something like a "Celestial Object of the Day" for my area would be really cool and give me something new (perhaps) to find.
All in all, I like this, and will likely use it fairly often to check viewing conditions. Maybe less so for the highlights for time being. Just personal opinion on that one - it's still good. I'd recommend this for sure.
Great skill for Alexa! Would be nice if this had APOD fetch - grab the current Astronomy Picture of the Day and send it to the Alexa App, and have Alexa read the description verbally, and for imagers, pulling a NGC/Messier object from Astrobin and sending it to the Alexa App and having her give information about it verbally as well, would be pretty cool.
Besides providing answers for a variety of astronomical questions, this skill provides a very comprehensive update for stargazing conditions. It can be defaulted for your location to give you sunrise and sunset times, moon phase percentage, cloud coverage, wind speed and lots more. I love it!
Gives you all the information you need for a night of conserving the sky in just a few seconds. It helps to understand what certain terms mean like "seeing conditions " to get the full benefit but still very useful even if you don't. Even gives you sunspot conditions when prompted. Well done!