Summertime is the best time of the year for star gazing, especially when you are camping. The night sky lights up with millions of stars when you are far out in the woods with no pollution, congestion, or interference from manmade light sources. My favorite stargazing app has always been Star Walk. It comes with so many amazing features that it is like a planetarium in your pocket.
The app’s creator, Vito Technology just launched a brand new version of their incredible astronomy app and, believe it or not, it has even more amazing features than its predecessor.
Star Walk 2 – Guide to the Sky Day and Night has so many new and fantastic features that it will take me months to discover everything there is to offer. To begin with, the display has been completely redesigned. Instead of showing you what the sky looks like at night, the new look includes brighter backgrounds during the day to be more representative of the current conditions without totally removing the stars. The background display has more detail and the animations are incredible. As you focus in on a constellation, it shimmers like light flashing across a glass surface.
All you have to do is point your iPad at the sky and the app will find your current location and show you what the stars look like, right now, even in the daytime. You can even turn on augmented reality and see an overlay of the stars right over the view you have in real life. This feature is amazing for lining up the stars you see with the data Star Walk 2 offers.
While looking around at the sky above (or below), you can tap on a constellation or star and check it out in 3-D. When you take a closer look, you’ll be able to rotate around constellations, viewing them from all angles. See what Orion looks like from above or behind. You can also see plausible renderings of 3-D models of planetary nebulas. It is incredible.
Drag your finger on the screen to manually look around instead of holding your device up in the air. When you do, a clock icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Use this feature to watch how the sky changes in any location throughout time. You’ll see how the rotation of the Earth changes what we see at night at any given time.
This is just a small amount of the fantastic features that Sky Walk 2 has to offer.
You can download additional content, like the Deep Sky Objects overlay, which features 229 deep-sky objects like nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. Right now, you can get the Constellations upgrade for free. It includes additional information on each constellation. However, I highly recommend purchasing all additional content for only $1.99. It is worth every penny.
Star Walk 2 is universally available on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch for $2.99. It looks stunning on the iPad Air. Download it in the App Store today.