All summer I've been perplexed by the appearance of an extremely bright western sky star. I first mistook it for a police helicopter (I do live in LA), but noticed it wasn't moving anywhere for long stretches of time. At night the star was so impressively bright, I harbored doubts the object could be celestial in nature. Cue in the aid of an app!
I admit I'm a little late to the Google Sky Map party, but include me now amongst the throngs of users amazed by Google's open source and near-magical app, Sky Map, which not only helped me identify the wondrously bright star Vega (I learned soon after the color changing effect is due to light passing through our atmosphere), but also resulted in me exploring the rest of the night time sky from my bedroom window till 4am.