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Star Walk is a pocket telescope, encyclopedia, mathematician, astronomer and star-gazing tool like no other. The educational app uses augmented reality to let you tour the star-, satellite- and planet-filled sky. (Don’t worry, it’ll tell you which twinkle in the sky is which.)
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Here’s another award winner, this one from the developers at Vito Technology. Star Walk is everything you’ve ever wanted in a celestial app and much, much more. That’s probably why its iPad version won the Apple Design Award in 2010.
Let’s just start with a big bang. Star Walk’s coolest feature is an interactive overlay that virtually puts you into outer space, and it’s so easy to use.
Go outside on a clear night and find a large celestial body. Let’s use the moon. Lay the Star Walk app moon over the actual one and lock in your position. Once this is done, you can take a virtual tour of space, spotting and naming the stars and planets you can see with the naked eye, but never knew any details about.
Want to know where the Formax galaxy is? Scan through and you’re there. Always wanted to be able to spot the Corona Borealis? No problem. Think you see a satellite up there? Scan and position the overlay on top of it and Star Walk will tell you if you’re correct.
If you don’t know your way around the starry sky (science never was your strong subject), Star Walk will show you. Star Walk can tell you how many moons Saturn has, along with what their positions are, plus what deep space is like beyond our solar system.
And that’s not all. Star Walk is a veritable encyclopedia of information, offering cool information like the names of satellites, when they launched and what orbital positions they keep. Select “Sky Live” and you can get the position and information of all the planets in our solar system with recent updates. There’s also an astronomical calendar that keeps you up to speed on celestial events, beautiful pictures and access to the Star Walk community.
Not only is Star Walk great for entertainment purposes, but it’s a powerful astronomical teaching tool as well. Even in broad daylight you can scan the stars with a detailed map, or even use the app to see where the stars will be that night. And if you need to look up something quickly, use the glossary.
Star Walk will make you feel like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Neil Armstrong and Ham the Chimp all at once. The only thing it doesn’t do is tell you your horoscope. (Oh wait...That’s astrology.) No matter. This app, just like outer space around us, has everything.
Reviewed: Apr 16, 2012 | P.K. LassiterAlso featured on: 10 Best Educational Apps for Kids, Also featured on: Education Goes Mobile with Vito Technology, Also featured on: 5 Cool Augmented-Reality Apps