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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2016, Article ID 8352791, 12 pages
Research Article

Development of a Lunar-Phase Observation System Based on Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning Technologies

1Graduate Institute of Human Resource and e-Learning Technology, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Computer Science, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan

Received 18 March 2016; Accepted 8 May 2016

Academic Editor: Miguel Torres-Ruiz

Copyright © 2016 Wernhuar Tarng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Observing the lunar phase requires long-term involvement, and it is often obstructed by bad weather or tall buildings. In this study, a lunar-phase observation system is developed using the augmented reality (AR) technology and the sensor functions of GPS, electronic compass, and 3-axis accelerometer on mobile devices to help students observe and record lunar phases easily. By holding the mobile device towards the moon in the sky, the screen will show the virtual moon at the position of the real moon. The system allows the user to record the lunar phase, including its azimuth/elevation angles and the observation date and time. In addition, the system can shorten the learning process by setting different dates and times for observation, so it can solve the problem of being unable to observe and record lunar phases due to a bad weather or the moon appearing late in the night. Therefore, it is an effective tool for astronomy education in elementary and high schools. A teaching experiment has been conducted to analyze the learning effectiveness of the system and the results show that it is effective in learning the lunar concepts. The questionnaire results reveal that students considered the system easy to operate and it is useful in locating the moon and recording the lunar data.