Thanks to Star Walk, I have an answer to questions like, “Hey, Dad. What is that star there just to the right of the moon?” Granted, nine times out of ten it ends up being a nearby planet rather than a distant star, but that’s beside the point. The point is that I know it’s a planet rather than a star because I can simply point my iPhone or iPad toward the sky, and the Star Walk 2 app will label the sky for me.
I have always loved astronomy, and I am fascinated by the vast wonder of the night sky, and I was already an avid fan of the original Star Walk app–so my opinion of Star Walk 2 may be tainted slightly. Even if you’re not an aficianado of the night sky or a weekend astronomy hobbyist, Star Walk 2 is an excellent investment of $3, and you should have the app on your iOS device.
The app is as simple as it is beautiful. You can simply point your iPhone or iPad at the sky, and Star Walk 2 will display and label everything out there–stars, planets, satellites, and other celestial objects. As you rotate your perspective, or even point the iOS device at the ground, Star Walk 2 will continue to show you what objects you would see in that portion of the sky.
You can tap on any object you see to learn more about it. Star Walk 2 will display a closer image of the object, along with details about it. For example, if you tap the planet Mercury Star Walk 2 displays a 3D image of the planet that you can swipe to rotate, or pinch-to-zoom to get a closer look. Across the top are icons to get more information about the object, detailed specifications like size, distance, gravity, surface temperature, etc., view a gallery of images of the object, or read the Wikipedia entry for it.
Some of the details are only offered as an in-app purchase of additional content. You can buy the Constellations, Deep Sky Objects, Extended Solar System, or Satellites add-on content individually, or for $2 you can buy the all-in-one bundle that gives you all of the above. The all-in-one bundle brings the total cost for the app and data to $5, but it is still the best $5 I have spent on any mobile app. Without the add-on content, satellites are labelled generically as simply “satellites”, but once you buy the appropriate content the objects are properly labeled with their specific names.
Do yourself a favor–click here and download Star Walk 2 to your iOS device right now: Star Walk 2.
Have you used Star Walk or Star Walk 2? Let me know what you think of the app(s) in the comments below. Do you agree it’s the best app $3 can buy?
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