On Christmas Eve, the International Space Station zoomed over our village and was clearly visible for a few minutes. Yes, readers, we DID tell our children it was Father Christmas’ sleigh. No shame here, folks. No shame.
Still, the reality of whats happening up there in the night skies is just as magical to children and adults alike, if we’re honest. Last September we wrote about an app called Star Walk Kids which aimed to spark children’s interest in astronomy. It was only available for Apple devices, but now it’s on Android too.
That should open it up to an even wider audience, which would be a good thing: this is a neatly-crafted app that will get kids looking up in the sky, rather than simply down at a touchscreen.
“As you hold your phone up and point it towards the sky, Star Walk Kids follows your motions using the built-in gyroscope to match the map on your screen to the stars seen from your location,” explains developer Vito Technology‘s app store listing.
As on iOS, the interface has been designed to be accessible for children: although it’s most fun when you’re with them as they use the app, they will be able to use it perfectly well by themselves.
There are animations and little cartoon touches to avoid it seeming dry, but there are plenty of facts about the planets and our galaxy too. Young astronomers will love it, but we think you’ll enjoy it as well.
Star Walk Kids costs £1.96 for Android from the Google Play store.