San Jose, California – Comet watchers, stargazers, and the general public now have a simple and quick way to locate and track the first significant naked eye comet since 2007. First Light Design (Distant Suns) is thrilled to announce today the release of an update to its award-winning Distant Suns (max) Astronomy App for iOS.

Dozens of comets are discovered each year, most shining at magnitudes that require very good telescopes to observe. Only the very few big and dramatic comets reach naked eye visibility. With the latest release of Distant Suns, anyone can follow the Comet Pan-STARRS over the next couple of months. Current expectations are that Comet Pan-STARRS will brighten up to about first magnitude, or roughly as bright as the major stars in Orion, between now and the end of March, 2013. The update includes tracking of Comet Pan-STARRS, refinement of its SETI monitoring features, as well as some UI enhancements and bug fixes.

Features include:
* Augmented Reality Viewing overlays the sky with the local landscape (iOS only)
* What’s Up? Offers an overview of the evening’s sky
* GPS and Compass aware
* News ticker of up-to-date space and astronomy news as well as content from Astronomy magazine and
* Current stars and solar systems being monitored by the SETI Institute’s Allan Telescope Array, as it listens for possible extraterrestrial civilizations (iOS only)
* NASA’s Night Sky Network of local astronomical events (US iOS only)
* Over 300,000 planets, stars, galaxies, nebula and star clusters
* Interactive tour of the solar system
* And much more … See the complete list of features at the App Store

“The addition of comet tracking in Distant Suns continues our mission to enhance the user’s time out under the heavens,” said Mike Smithwick, founder and president of First Light Design. “Later this year, Distant Suns will track Comet ISON, which is currently expected to be the most brilliant comet in the past century.”

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 65.7 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Distant Suns (max) 3.4.3 is $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. Distant Suns Astronomy Apps are also available for Android, Kindle and Nook. For more information, please go to Distant Suns online.

Distant Suns
Distant Suns (max) 3.4.3
Purchase and Download
Screenshot (Comet Pan-STARRS in Distant Suns)
Screenshot (Augmented Viewing)
App Icon

First Light Design, LLC, is a privately owned company. It first released Distant Suns for the Commodore Amiga in 1987, followed by versions for Macintosh and Windows. Recently, Distant Suns has partnered with NASA’s Night Sky Network and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to include local, United States listings of astronomical events and activities in the App. It has also partnered with the SETI Institute to provide real-time monitoring of Allen Telescope Array extraterrestrial targets, as well as Astronomy magazine and Astronomy online. First Light Design is a proud member of Moms With Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers with family-friendly apps. Copyright (C) 1987-2013 First Light Design, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distant Suns is a trademark of First Light Design, Inc. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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