Sky Guide

Chris­tian’s no Galileo, but cast­ing his eyes to the heav­ens is much bet­ter with iOS

Mac Format - - RATED | IOS GAMES -

It seems like as­tron­omy apps are about as com­mon as stars in our galaxy. Yet Sky Guide is the one I keep com­ing back to over the likes of Star Walk and Lu­mi­nos. For me, it’s got just the right blend of arm­chair as­tronomer and gen­uine techie field use. First off, the vi­su­als are jaw-drop­pingly good and if you’re fussy about vi­su­al­i­sa­tions for the con­stel­la­tions (and I’m se­ri­ously picky), then Sky Guide is clearly the bench­mark.

The usual scroll-around-and-zoom-around ap­proach is once again em­ployed here, as you’d ex­pect, and it’s not de­liv­ered that much bet­ter than other top as­tron­omy apps un­til you use two fin­gers to swipe up and change the sky bright­ness. This stunning HDR fea­ture brings to life the depth and colour of the night sky and the tiny twin­kling of the stars in view (and ac­cu­rate colour­ing) is ex­quis­ite.

The fea­tures don’t end there ei­ther. You can even lis­ten to the stars, and I’m not talk­ing about the dreamy back­ground mu­sic. Hot­ter stars have higher pitches and larger stars have louder vol­umes. It’s a sub­tle ad­di­tion to the sky map, but adds to your as­tron­im­cal knowl­edge – check out the multi-twin­kled tune of the Pleiades!

Then there’s the bril­liant time con­trols which speed you through time to see the heav­ens move years into the fu­ture in just a few sec­onds. Tap near the bot­tom of the screen to bring up the play­back con­trols. Fi­nally, there’s the Fil­ter, a kind of mag­ni­fy­ing glass de­vice that ap­pears if you tap and hold an ob­ject (star, planet, ne­bula etc). It doesn’t zoom though, rather it al­lows you to ro­tate through var­i­ous wave­lengths of light to get an en­tirely dif­fer­ent view of the galaxy.

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