Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Star Walk

Star Walk

Spring 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 5 - 18 yrs.
Adapted By: Olga Shtaub
Developer: Vito Technology
Download Price: $4.99
Platform: iPad

Star Walk is an application well worth its cost. Information rich and visually stunning, Star Walk is an opportunity to become an amateur astronomer, giving users knowledge of the moon, planets, and distant galaxies. The dim but backlit images of the night sky coupled with GPS orientation put this app miles ahead of ordinary star maps as a tool for field use. It can even be put into red mode, which dims the display's lights to prevent losing one's night vision. Virtually any venture outside at night leads to one of the children asking for information on a planet or constellation, on whether the moon is waxing or waning or if it qualifies as "full", and Star Walk is immediately at our fingertips, chock-full of answers. But answers in astronomy inevitably lead to more questions, the best kind of learning opportunity.

While the Star Walk live night sky maps would be more than sufficient to justify the purchase of the app, it is by no mean limited to that. My favorite feature is the Picture of the Day, with gorgeous, high resolution images from the Hubble telescope and other night sky imaging sources, including a detailed description of the image and links for more information. Budding astronomers can study the calendar for opportunities to see upcoming astronomical events. Night sky images can show light ranges far outside the visible. In short, this application is a real treat for sky-lovers of all ages.

Emily Crawford   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Vito Technology
Available on iTunes

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