Reach for the stars with Star Walk 2

Web Log: Budget-friendly map of the night sky packed with facts and amazing visuals

The Star Walk 2 Night Sky Map is a relaxing way to star gaze at any time of the day or night. Swing your iPhone or Android handset around and see what stars and planets are above while listening to trippy, space-inspired background audio. The star map displays labelled constellations as well as beautiful 3-D illustrations of Taurus, Perseus and the celestial gang.

A useful feature for night-time is the augmented reality overlay that accesses your camera, projecting the star map over your own view; use it as an opportunity to get to know the stars and planets above your head at the various times of year. Tapping on planets zooms in to give a close-up along with background information, a gallery of images, vital statistics, a history of missions that mapped the planet, and an internal view. This budget-friendly (€2.99) app is jam-packed with facts, figures and visuals.

There are also lots of visual effects that enhance the user experience – constellation flares, meteor showers, a virtual horizon and simulated atmosphere – but they can be turned off if you’re into the basics.