GoSkyWatch Planetarium App

GoSkyWatch Planetarium App

Launch Tool

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • iPod Touch

GoSkyWatch Planetarium allows you to identify and locate stars, planets, constellations, and more by touching the screen or by pointing it to the sky. It displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle, not just in landscape or portrait. The app has a built-in compass so that you can tell which direction you are pointing and, because of the core location services, you can quickly set up your observing position.

This app provides you with an interactive way to explore the sky. You can just point to the sky to start exploring. There are various features in the app that allow you to explore the sky, including a built-in database of all stars visible to the naked eye; 200+ images of planets and deep sky objects; planet, star, and constellation data; full-sky, 180-degree display, etc.

This app is free of charge, so in order to use it, all you have to do is go to the App store and download the free version. To orient the app, you can click on the tools option to set your location, if you don’t already have that set up on your tablet. You also can choose various ways to display the information on the screen, from seeing the Milky Way displayed to viewing the lines for the constellations.

Going Further

For Educators

This resource would be a good complement to a unit on astronomy, the solar system, space travel, etc. For younger students, this app would be a good tool to use when they do lessons on the night sky, where they observe the stars and/or moon over a period of days. The app could be used to enhance their knowledge of what they see in the sky when doing their observations.

For older students, particularly those in high-school astronomy classes, they can use the app to help them determine the magnitude and luminosity of various stars and then use that information to make a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. They also could use the app to study objects in the sky in more detail and to find information on deep sky objects.

To get more information on an object in the sky, you should use the point and identify accelerometer, which is the circle you see in the middle of the screen. Once you sight an object with that circle, you can touch the Information button to get more details about that object. Once that screen is open, you can touch the Wikipedia icon to get even more information about that object. You also can use a pinch gesture on the screen to zoom in and out on different parts of the sky.

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3-5 | Interactive
Exploring the Solar System
6-8 |
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9-12 | Hands-On
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Celebrating Space Exploration
K-12 | Website

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Tool Details

Grades Themes Type Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards
AAAS Thinkfinity