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New app always points to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy

Enlarge / A photo of Galactic Compass running on an iPhone. (credit: Matt Webb / Getty Images)

On Thursday, designer Matt Webb unveiled a new iPhone app called Galactic Compass, which always points to the center of the Milky Way galaxy—no matter where Earth is positioned on our journey through the stars. The app is free and available now on the App Store.

While using Galactic Compass, you set your iPhone on a level surface, and a big green arrow on the screen points the way to the Galactic Center, which is the rotational core of the spiral galaxy all of us live in. In that center is a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*, a celestial body from which no matter or light can escape. (So, in a way, the app is telling us what we should avoid.)

But truthfully, the location of the galactic core at any given time isn’t exactly useful, practical knowledge—at least for people who aren’t James Tiberius Kirk in Star Trek V. But it may inspire a sense of awe about our place in the cosmos.

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