The Plus and Pro versions do not offer features that would be helpful for most middle or high school classrooms. Their main feature is the ability to manipulate certain telescopes wirelessly, setting them to the right coordinates to view certain objects, which is great if your school is equipped with a planetarium, but not super helpful otherwise. That said, letting kids explore space with this app could be an excellent use of classroom time. Put kids in groups and assign them a planet or star, then see how much research they can put together in a class period to present at the end.Continue reading Show less
SkySafari is a point-and-identify sky map that includes the major planets and moons; tens of thousands of stars; 220 of the best-known star clusters; and nebulae, galaxies, asteroids, comets, and more. Kids need to enable the compass on their device (which is on the bottom of the screen when the app is open) and point the device at the sky. They can also view the night sky for any time up to 100 years in the past or future. Using the search function, kids can find specific objects in the night sky, guided by arrows showing them where to point the device.
Standout feature: Tonight's Best, which lists the objects in the night sky that are best for viewing that evening.
Students can learn about astronomy by viewing planets, stars, and celestial bodies; searching for specific objects of interest; or looking at noteworthy astronomical sightings in that night's sky. If kids want a detailed picture of the movement of objects in the sky over time, they can view them by year, month, day, hour, minute, or second for 100 years into the past and future. Even the surliest teen would have to admit that's pretty darn cool.
The images -- from NASA space missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, and astro-photographers –- are beautiful. In addition to viewing the night sky –- past, present, and future –- students can read details about each planet, galaxy, star, and object.
Key Standards Supported
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.
Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.