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Apps to help transform you into an amateur UFO watcher

The quirky day of UFO appreciation coincides with the anniversary of the Roswell UFO conspiracy, when an unidentified object fell from the sky and crash landed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.
The quirky day of UFO appreciation coincides with the anniversary of the Roswell UFO conspiracy, when an unidentified object fell from the sky and crash landed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. David Zaitz/Photonica

TORONTO – Look up, way up, and ask yourself, “Are we really alone?”

There has never been a better time to channel your inner conspiracy theorist and join the droves of UFO watchers around the world who are keeping their eyes on the skies to celebrate ‘World UFO Day’ Tuesday.

First celebrated in 2001, the quirky day of UFO appreciation coincides with the anniversary of the Roswell UFO conspiracy theory that an unidentified object fell from the sky and crash landed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.

Some believed the wreckage was from an alien spacecraft, but the government maintained the wreckage was from a weather balloon.

The incident gave Roswell a reputation as being a UFO hub and launched a pop-culture obsession with aliens.

Hollywood encouraged the public’s fascination with aliens in the 1950s with films like ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ and Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ which made some even more suspicious when a series of strange lights were spotted over Washington, D.C. in 1952.

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The World UFO Day website suggests that people “take to the skies in search of something unexplainable,” on July 2.

But it seems Canadians have been busy watching the skies over the last year – according to an annual report released in May, UFO sightings in Canada more than doubled in 2012 with an average of five UFO sightings reported daily.

Global News compiled a list of must-have apps in order to make the most of your UFO sighting quest.

Report a UFO

‘Report a UFO’ helps users to keep track of possible UFO sightings by recording data like top UFO reporting organizations do.

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The app, available on Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad, allows users to report the size, shape and movement of the craft, as well as the time, location and weather conditions at the time of the sighting.

After filling out the UFO sighting report, users can choose to send the report to some of the top international UFO reporting organizations in the world, including the U.S., UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

3D UFO Sightings

This app, available on the Google Play store for Android devices, allows users to explore recent UFO sightings on a 3D globe by using UFO tracking data from the RSS feeds of UFO reporting websites.

One of the websites used to compile the data, ‘UFO Stalker,’ includes reports of Canadian sightings reported by postal code.

Satellite AR

So you’ve set out on your first UFO sighting mission, but you aren’t sure if the distant blinking lights you see are worthy of a UFO report. That’s where sky-watching apps like ‘Satellite AR’ come in handy.

The augmented reality app, available on the Google Play store for Android devices, allows users to point their devices at the sky to see an animated image of satellite activity over the Earth.

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The app even allows users to track the progress of various satellites, updating their trajectory as they pass by overhead, and even displays the name of the satellites (in case you wanted to know exactly where Canadian satellites like Shaw Direct’s ‘Anik’ are).

Star Walk

First time sky watchers might also find it hard to distinguish mysterious orbs of light from a planet passing by – which is why a planetary map app may come in handy.

The app, available for iPhone and iPad on Apple’s App Store, works similarly to the Satellite AR app by allowing users to point their device’s camera to the sky to see a map of the stars and planets above them.

The “Sky Live” feature details the visibility of the planets, including the sun and moon, and rise and set times of each solar system body.

Read More: 5 cool space apps that put the universe in your hands