Viewing things in the third dimension is a relatively new technology. Today, astronomers and star gazers alike can rejoice because the 3rd dimension has opened up in a host of ‘universe’al apps! These apps for the iPhone and iPad ensure that your tour of our grand universe is complete and fulfilling. Watch with bated breath as the mysteries of the universe unravel before your own eyes.
1. Solar Walk – The 3D model of the Solar System
Moving away from the primitive ball and stick models, Solar Walk presents our solar system with accurate and amazing graphics. The planets are all in perfect orientation with the sun. As a result of this, you can see the daybreak and nightfall happen on the planets as you traverse the space. The app features a time machine mode to travel the solar system in time. It boasts of an elaborate collection of movies about phenomena on the earth. Viewing the satellites of the different planets and watching the geographic details of the earth could not have gotten better. The best thing is that an internet connection is not needed to run this app which can be easily mirrored on to a HD Apple TV also!
2. SkyORB – Explore the Universe
This free app comes complete with a collection of planets, stars, comets, asteroids and other heavenly objects in 3D. The most exciting ‘point to sky’ feature allows you to simply hold out the iPad or iPhone against the night sky and the app will identify the star or planet for you. More than a simple star gazer’s handbook, the app includes a 3D star map, a 3D planetarium, a sun clock, a search engine and weather determiner. The positions of the satellites and comets are constantly updated from the information available in the web. The app also has an ephemeris which includes the astronomical events of the next 30 days. Once you upgrade to the premium version, you will be notified about any phenomena occurring locally and get detailed information about all heavenly bodies.
3. StarMap 3D – Hold the Universe in your pocket
Anyone planning a beginning in astronomy could not get better support than the StarMap 3D app. This is more of the atlas of the universe. It thus allows you to discover the universe around you in an interactive manner. The app’s repository extends to more than 100,000 stars. Since it arrives with complete compass support and GPS support, pointing out to a star is all that is needed to learn all about it! All of the 88 modern constellations have been updated in the app. So, the app promises hours of educational fun as you walk along the streets at night discovering stars and star clusters.
4. Geo Walk HD – A factbook of our 3D world
While exploring the universe is fun, there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored on our own dear planet earth! Geo Walk is designed as an interactive model of the globe. Articles on various topics ranging from the flora and fauna to history and places have been handpicked and added. The app promises hours of endless fun and education at the same time. The photos and videos enrich the viewing experience. For instance, zooming into the Eiffel Tower, you can view it in great detail and enjoy he views from it. You also learn everything about it in short bursts! This app needs no internet for its functioning and arrives in two modes – a descriptive one and a quizzing one. The category filter helps you to select only those topics that interest you and cast away the rest. You can now explore the world like never before and come out wiser and richer at the end of it.
5. Grand Tour 3D
This is another app that helps you carry out a 3D tour of our solar system. Start off on a voyage from your home one earth. This is the most economical way of replicating the journey of the Voyager which traveled the space under the same code name of Grand Tour. The fine details of the textures and surfaces of the planets and moons in the solar system are simply breathtaking. All the heavenly bodies are moving in real time and their movements can be speeded up for study purposes. Even the clouds and other weather phenomena are updated and they can either be turned off or kept on.
Science and geography at school will definitely get more interesting and fascinating with these apps making their appearance. In fact, the 3D apps promise to change the very face of education. Soon, the days of studying from books might be over. Move over bookworms! The appworms are arriving!
Guest Author: Claudia Somerfield is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology, health and parenting. Beside this she is fond of games and gadgets. These days she is busy in writing articles on her sites eco friend and automotto.
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