A new mobile phone application that allows users to more easily identify constellations and planets in the night sky is due to arrive from Google.
According to a report from the Telegraph, the app employs GPS technology to compare the position of the phone owner with maps of space.
The app, dubbed Star Droid, also applies name tags to the planets which can be seen with the handset’s viewfinder.
Astronomers predict that the mobile phone application could inspire a new wave of interest in astronomy.
Carolin Crawford, of Cambridge University's institute of astronomy, told the Sunday Times: "This innovation sounds like it could be really useful to help people learn what they are looking at.
“It will be interesting to see how much the camera on the phones will be able to pick up. The night sky is pretty crowded. Whereas Venus can appear bright in the sky, many stars appear very dimly and may be difficult for a camera-phone to spot."
In recent years, interest in astronomy is believed to have been hit by light pollution which makes constellations hard to identify.