The Night Sky

Common Sense Media says

Easy-to-use stargazing tool shines in its accessibility.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Simply hold the device of your choosing up to the sky -- and the app (using the system's GPS functionality) will show you the star layout in front of you, identifying all planets, constellations, and other celestial bodies. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns. The app uses your current location to pinpoint the stars and planets floating overhead.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Night Sky is an educational app that makes astronomy accessible. Boasting a tremendous amount of information, it can easily answer any basic questions about the night sky -- including ones people might not know to ask. The app uses geo-tracking to show you the stars and planets above your head at any given time to aid stargazers as they scan the night sky (or plan for the best night to do so).

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A wonderful tool for young stargazers. From obscure constellations to the types of satellites in the sky, very little escapes its eye. It's also incredibly easy to use and doesn't overwhelm.

Learning Approach

The Night Sky encourages exploration. The easiest way to learn is to simply point it at the sky and line up the stars with what's on the screen. Kids will get an accurate view of the sky above them, teaching them how to find constellations.

Support

The app lets you track the stars and planets above your head at any given time, offering education and the ability to plan for the best night to do so.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Kids can learn to identify constellations and planets by comparing the stars in the sky to what's shown on screen with The Night Sky, giving them a smooth ramp to learning about astronomy. Kids can also learn to identify satellites and track their movement to get a sense of how fast the Earth spins. While there are several apps that discuss constellations, this one shows kids where they are -- with and without the artist embellishment, letting them find them on their own. The Night Sky takes a complex science and makes it easy to comprehend. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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What's it about?

Users hoping to learn the constellations above them can quickly find the answer by holding their device to the sky. Using the internal compass and GPS locator, the app displays the stars (and satellites, if requested) in the sky, including the names of any star formations. The app also includes a "red mode," which lowers the brightness setting, making it easier to use in the night sky.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While THE NIGHT SKY isn't quite as robust as other astronomy apps like Redshift - Astronomy or Star Walk​the app is still a wonderful tool for stargazers and those who are interested in learning more about the night sky. With a robust vault of information, ranging from obscure constellations to the types of satellites in the sky, very little escapes its eye. 

It's incredibly easy to use and doesn't overwhelm the user, which some science apps have historically done. While it might not be as thorough as some of its competitors, it uses that to its advantage and is a terrific educational tool for children. 

Families can talk about...

  • Help kids find information on the stories behind the constellations -- and see if your kids can "see" the shapes without artistic renderings.

  • Visit a local planetarium, observatory, or air and space museum to learn more about astronomy.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$.99
Release date:February 10, 2012
Category:Reference
Size:5.10 MB
Publisher:iCandi Apps
Version:1.9.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of The Night Sky was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator Written byNCSTechnology December 27, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Not for Kindle Fire

It is NOT for Kindle Fire like suggested. The Kindle Fire does NOT have a GPS system thus the app does not work. Waste of money.

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