The Night Sky

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
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Easy-to-use stargazing tool shines in its accessibility.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

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. 

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. 

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Sexy Stuff
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What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNCSTechnology December 27, 2012

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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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?

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. 

Talk to your kids 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

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