If like me, you don’t know your Ursa Major from your Ursula Andress, then Starmap might be a useful app for you to download to your iPhone or iPod touch.
Somehow, the developer Fred, has managed to cram the universe into my iPhone. Well maybe not quite all of it, but with 110 000 stars, full ephemeris of the 9 planets and their satellites, 150 deep field objects like galaxies and clusters, plus photos and constellation zodiacal signs – to my untrained eye, it would seem so.
Gazing up at the night sky above the New Forest last night. My wife and I were quite literally starstruck. Watching shooting stars, which I now know were from a meteor shower, was pretty exciting. But it seems the more you know about this sort of thing, the better it gets.
So, I browsed for iTunes apps, and the first application I came across was Starmap. Read some reviews, and promptly downloaded this ¬£6.99 application. There are a few speed issues with pinching the UI, but I can live with the speed. It just amazes me that Fred has managed to cram all this information into a package that only a few years ago would have filled 4 floppy discs. 6 mega bytes is not a lot of space, for all this space!
The starlight, I will be chasing your starlight
The interface takes a little bit of time to get used to it. Tip: roll your finger over the menu bar at the bottom to get more options, settings and search for stuff. There you will also find an integrated lamp with night vision and adjustable intensity.
Starmap Review Conclusion
Some reviewers have really slated the performance of Starmap. There are also some other similar planetarium apps out there, which I haven’t yet tried. But for a Version 1 release, I think Starmap is out of this world. Fantastic.