Stargazing can be a romantic getaway or simply a fascinating way to immerse yourself into the billions of stories every star has to share. In any case, watching the stars is quite a fantastic thing to do.
Stargazing today vs the time when geniuses like Galileo were gracing the world with their knowledge is phenomenally different. Where they had to rely on their learning, we have access to an existing repository of world-class knowledge and advanced tools to understand the language of the stars.
Along these lines, we are here to talk about an excellent app that is made to help stargazers of all levels and astronomers.
About Star Walk
Star Walk was developed by Vito Technology and released for iPhone/iPod in 2008, for iPad in 2011, and for Android devices in 2014. Star Walk helps users explore the sky and its celestial objects. The best part is that users can explore the sky with their mobile devices in real-time.
The purpose of making the app was to assist astronomy students, learners, and professionals read the sky. The app has smart features to help identify star patterns, locate different celestial objects with respect to your location, and see the night sky with as much information as you can get.
Due to the application’s variety of uses, it became an effective learning tool for anybody. It is easy to use, has plenty of information, and can become a key companion for someone who wants to learn more about the night sky.
Star Walk is a great application for the learners as it shares the rise and set times of the sun and the moon. Added to this, you can also learn more about the planets while identifying the lunar phases. And that’s not all, you can also check out the best time to view the stars and planets from your location.
Main Features of the App
One of the most amazing features of the application is its ability to highlight the constellations and stars on your phone in real-time. The application proxies for the map of the sky loaded with constellations and stars with exact positioning.
While browsing the app, you will be able to get general information, images, articles, and astronomical facts about the objects in the sky. The Constellation Finder feature works as an easy star finder. While you move your phone across the sky, the app will locate the constellations.
Added to this, there is a time machine built within the application that will show the sky map of different periods. All you have to do is tap on the clock and move the dial to see the sky of the past.
Augmented Reality-Enabled Stargazing
With the help of AR technology, Star Walk lets you see the sky map filled with celestial objects overlaid on the phone screen. The app, using the device’s camera and phone location, can bring to life the dormant sky and fill your phone with stars, planets, constellations, and other celestial objects.
To use this feature on iOS phones, you need to activate the Star Spotter. Activating this function will show the sky, and the screen’s objects change as you move the phone covering other areas of the sky.
After toggling the Star Spotter, you need to activate the Augmented Reality mode accessible from the upper right corner of the screen.
Other Features of the App
Among the main features, Star Walk is blessed with a few other amazing functions. For instance, using the night sky viewer can change the screen color based on your choice. The color changes as per the type of radiation you choose to explore, including x-ray, visible spectrum, infrared, gamma, radio, and more.
There is a built-in observatory and knowledge pool providing astronomy information, including daily and universal facts about the objects you wish to explore. In other words, Star Walk is an application that can replace various books and journals you may have to read to know more about the night sky.
Last but not least, this application will send you notifications about astronomical events. So, the next time there is a meteor shower passing through your location, you can trust Star Walk to notify you on-time and help you never miss out on any such spectacular event.
Benefits of Using the Star Walk App
Using Star Walk can be a mix of fun and learning, helping to increase your knowledge about the sky. This application is an amazing asset for students and professionals alike. With Star Walk you get authentic and up-to-date information about the sky and its objects, including stars, planets, satellites.
The application can help with classroom teaching and for conducting astronomical shows. In other words, the AR and 3D imaging abilities of the application can be used to entertain an audience. Some resorts are already using the app to conduct astronomy meetings and displays for their guests.
More than this, you can also use the app to check out the location of selected objects that have been sent to space by humankind. For instance, if you want to know the position of the International Space Station, Star Walk can show you.
How to Use Star Walk
Star Walk has many features and functions, which is great, but sometimes too many aspects in one app can get a bit overwhelming. Since this app can turn out to be useful for all sorts of stargazers, whether recreational, hobbyists, or academia, using it most effectively depends on your requirements.
For a student, the general information, Wikipedia articles, planet-specific knowledge is a great resource. Suppose you already have basic knowledge about the sky. In that case, the celestial positions and the location of the planets, stars, and satellites supplied through the app can further help build a better understanding of the sky.
For veteran stargazers, the sky map, timeline, and AR-related features can be a big source of information and motivation to become a pro stargazer. The best part about the app is that you can use it without a professional telescope or binoculars. Yes, having a telescope can seriously up your game, but with Star Walk, it’s not necessary.
Star Walk Pricing
Star Walk is free to download and use on your Android device. However, it also includes in-app purchases for upgrading to its premium and more interactive features.
For instance, the features like the Augmented Reality sky is a paid feature, which is best used to professional astronomers. With the Android application, users can get rid of advertisements by downloading the Star Walk Plus version of the app.
For iOS devices like iPhone and iPad, the Star Walk application will cost you a one-time price of $2.99. Within the application available for iOS devices, you will get access to several features, while in this one too, there are in-app purchases to add more features.
How to Download
To download for Android, open the Google Play Store on your phone and search for “Star Walk.” From the search results, click on “Star Walk” and click on “Install.” Since the app is free to download for Android users, it will start downloading instantly.
For iPhone or iPad, open the App Store, and here too, search “Star Walk.” On iOS devices, an updated version of the application Star Walk 2 is available as well if you prefer. With iOS devices, there is a base price that must be paid before you can download. Make the payment via the App Store, and then it will start downloading on your phone.
With the iOS version of the app, you can also view stunning 3D models of constellations and other objects in the sky. Along with this, the updated version of the app has immersive soundtracks built to align with the retina display.
Customer Reviews for the Star Walk App
We have traced the app’s performance through user reviews and perspectives. In all its operational years, Star Walk has been appreciated by every kind of user and by professional app critics.
Mashable has awarded it a 4.9 out of 5 rating, and placed it at the top in the best five “Applications for kids you don’t want to miss.”
Critics Love Star Walk
Some critics have even declared it as “One of the greatest demos of Apple Technology.”
Similarly, we came across several reviews saying this application is perfect for teachers, students, and learners, and for anyone who wants to learn more about the stars by exploring the night sky.
Truly, Star Walk is one of the greatest apps to be developed for iOS and Android devices. You can use it for stargazing, for studying, learning, and various other astronomical purposes.
Even though the application has several advanced use options, it has an easy and intuitive interface. It is an accessible and highly efficient application meant to help you know more about the sky every night.