Global Nominee

Moonfindr received a Global Nomination.

THE CHALLENGE: Book it to the Moon
Solar System

Develop an interactive app for children that uses smart phone and tablet sensory to locate the Moon (any time of the day, even below horizon), which unlocks current lunar data (phase, distance, etc), and then presents the user options for reading a "Moon" related story, view space agency photos and videos, and/or fun facts about the Moon. The goal of this challenge is edutainment and raising awareness about lunar missions around the world.


Moonfindr is an educational and fun Moon locating app for children aged 5-10. The app uses an easy to read compass-like interface to get the child to physically turn and point the phone in the direction of the Moon. Getting children to find the Moon in the day time helps develop an understanding of orbits and to visualise celestial mechanics. The app includes pictures, a quiz and lunar data based on the Moon’s current position. It is both a fun app for individuals or an excellent starting point for teachers to use in classes.

The app first calculates the Moon’s co-ordinates on the ecliptic plane based on the time and date taken from the smartphone. This is then translated to a projected point on the horizon. The angle between this projected point and North is called the azimuth. Using the Google maps API the smartphones direction relative to North is also calculated. Comparing the azimuth to the phone’s position relative to North allows the angle between the smartphone and the Moon to be calculated. An onscreen arrow directs the child to turn the phone until they are facing the correct direction. The code can be adapted from this position to then find the pitch angle of the Moon.

Resources Used

Other than the resources given here

1. Schmitt, Stephen R. Lunar Phase Computation in Zeno.

2. SATCOM online. Calculating Azimuth And Elevation Angles.'

3. Lunar Exploration gallery by ESA.

4. Flickr Api.

5. Google Api.

Made inLiverpool England
from the minds of
How they did it