iPhone Life magazine

Distant Suns 3

Teaching Science with iOS — From Macro to Micro — Exploring Space

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When studying the solar system, it's hard to beat Solar Walk ($2.99) from Vito Technology. You begin with an image of the earth with many light blue lines circling it. Tap one and the app provides a close-up view of a satellite. All the satellites are rendered in 3D, and a clickable info button reveals information and images associated with the satellite. Solar Walk provides enough satellite detail to have good conversations about orbits, satellite construction, and observation. Combine this app with Google Earth and you can have a good dialog about public and private surveillance. There also is information on the International Space Station.



Turn your iPad into a Modern, Mobile Planetarium

To paraphrase Carl Sagan's famous remark, there are billions upon billions of stars and other sparkly things out there in the night skies. Gazing into the heavens on a clear night can be a mystical experience, but the real magic occurs when you understand what you're looking at.


Astronomy began thousands of years ago when shepherds in the field gazed up at the sky and saw the outlines of objects and mythical beings traced by patterns of stars. As time passed and technology evolved, our knowledge of the sky improved. But to this day, we still cling to the same 88 constellations envisioned by those ancient shepherds on long ago sleepless nights.



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