Star Walk Kids–ex­plore Space & Plan­ets

App for iphone and ipad. De­vel­oper: Vito Tech­nol­ogy. $2.99.

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Reviews & Previews -

ONE OF THE SMARTEST APPS avail­able for astronomers is Star Walk, but it’s too ad­vanced for young astronomers, so my 10-year-old son and I sat down with his ipad and gave the Kids ver­sion a spin. As with the adult ver­sion, you can hold your de­vice up to the sky, and the app will show you the stars, con­stel­la­tions, and plan­ets in your field of view. The in­ter­ac­tives are in­for­ma­tive: A touch quickly dis­plays an out­line of a con­stel­la­tion or the name of the star you are in­ter­ested in. The com­plex­ity of the ma­te­rial is just right for kids, but the in­for­ma­tion can’t al­ways be trusted. The app states, for ex­am­ple, that our “near­est neigh­bor” is Mars, but at the time, it was Venus. These in­ac­cu­ra­cies take away from a fun and ed­u­ca­tional app. Per­haps these mis­takes will be cor­rected in fu­ture re­leases. In the mean­time, it’s hard not to rec­om­mend Star Walk Kids. As my son said, “It’s re­ally cool!”

BOB CRADDOCK IS A

GE­OL­O­GIST AT THE NA­TIONAL

AIR AND SPACE MU­SEUM.

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