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Galactic Compass

An app that points to the middle of the Milky Way.

Galactic Compass is an iOS app with a floating arrow that always points to the middle of the Milky Way galaxy. (Released February 2024, 20,000+ installs.)

The central supermassive black hole (known as Sagittarius A*) is 26,000 light years away.

To figure out the direction you must take into account:

  • your position on the Earth’s surface
  • the time of day (because the Earth is rotating)
  • the time of year (because the Earth is orbiting the Sun)

Knowing is incredibly grounding, as I found out when I trained myself to do it. But it’s tricky to do in your head.

Now there’s an app for that.

Think of it like a compass that always points north. But instead of north, it points to the center of the galaxy.

The arrow moves in real-time over the day.


My original post on X/Twitter (12K likes, 6.5M views)

Ars Technica (Feb 2024, includes background interview): New app always points to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy

"Once you can follow it, you start to see the galactic center as the true fixed point, and we’re the ones whizzing and spinning. There it remains, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, steady as a rock, eternal. We go about our days; it’s always there."


Original concept (2021): Cultivating a sense of the galactic centre

Writing an app using ChatGPT (2024): New app! A compass that points to the centre of the galaxy


For support, email matt@interconnected.org.

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