Star Walk

One of the hottest apps of 2009 has just received a new update the Valentine’s Day holiday! Continue reading down to the bottom to find out how you can win your own copy of this fun and very educational app! Star Walk basically shows how the stars are laid out in the sky. But the stars are always moving, right? Well, thanks to this amazing app you can actually look at what the sky looks like in any place on the globe on any given day and time!

When I opened up Star Walk for the first time I was a little bit intimidated with all of the information on the screen. The actual app is very simple to use though. The screen that you see when you open the app up shows you a variety of information such as how full the moon is and the angle that several different planets and also the sun are at in the sky.

Once you close the opening window you will see a part of the sky on the screen. You can navigate around in several different ways. The easiest is to just touch and drag around the screen. As the move around the sky, you’ll see the names of different constellations, planets and even stars if you touch and select them. If any of the constellations move into the center of the screen then an outline of that constellation will show up with the appropriate lines drawn between the stars.

One of the coolest features of this app is its use of the iPhone 3GS accelerometer and compass. This app manages to use this hardware to allow you to simply point your device in the direction you are looking. Once you point your device up in the sky it will automatically change the part of the sky you are viewing to the part of the sky that your iPhone is facing. This makes this app the perfect tool for an astronomy novice to figure out exactly what they are looking at!

While this app is very easy to use for anyone, it also allows you to view the sky from a variety of different places and times if you are really into astronomy. If you touch the button in the upper right corner, a timeline will pop up which will allow you to drag it up or down to the date and time you’d like to view.

To view the what the sky looks like from other locations, other than your current one, all you have to do is touch the button in the lower right corner and then touch the little globe icon. This will bring up an overview of the globe where you can just touch the location that you’d like to view the sky from. If you’d rather just type your desired location you can do so by touching the button in the lower left corner of this screen.

While this app is very simple to use once you get the hang of it, it would have been nice to have a little more description. It was not always obvious what the little icons represent. The good thing is that if you are curious there are detailed instructions on how to use everything if you touch the icon in the upper left corner and then touch the question mark that pops up.