Mini-review: Spitzer Space Telescope

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I'm a sucker for really good space photos, whether of local objects like the moon or deep space. Developers 'EspooTeam' (I can't think where they're based!) have made something of a speciality of producing space image applications, though Spitzer Space Telescope feels a little bare and the images ultimately disappointing.

From the Store description:

Spitzer Space Telescope application for Windows Phone devices.

  • General info about Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Mosaic view
  • 100 coolest images taken by Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Image Description
  • High Resolution image (with zoom mode)
  • Name of image object
  • Type of image object
  • Distance
  • Image credit info
  • Wikipedia links for more details for each image
  • Live Tiles

Which is a pretty good pitch for a deep space image application, helped by the fact that the official web site for the telescope isn't mobile-friendly. Having to scrape (or otherwise access) the top images from the site probably isn't trivial, though I suspect that biting the bullet and doing compiling the data and image links manually might have worked a lot better - as it is, the images within the Windows Phone application are typically at less than screen resolution, while high resolution images are readily available from the full desktop site. And half the fun in exploring space images is that they're typically quite large and you can zoom in to discover new detail....

Spitzer Space Telescope screenshotSpitzer Space Telescope screenshot

A page of introduction (and an annoying plea for a 5-star review before I've even used the app!) and then we're into the two main panes. Mosaic (right) presents the top 100 Spitzer images in random patterns - the idea is supposed to be mesmerising. Which I guess it is - for about 30 seconds!

Spitzer Space Telescope screenshotSpitzer Space Telescope screenshot

Then we're into the main image lists, broken up into groups of 20. Tapping on each, I'd expected a high resolution image and much more information, but a low quality JPG is all that's behind each entry. A missed opportunity.

A basic application, I'm somewhat surprised that this isn't freeware, considering the lack of value addition over what's available online for free and potentially at higher resolution. Still, a dollar or 79p won't break anyone's bank, should you feel the need to keep in touch with the Spitzer....

You can buy Spitzer Space Telescope here in the Store for 79p in the UK.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store