GoSkyWatch Planetarium for iPad - The Astronomy Star Guide

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Digital compass alignment enables navigation of the skies with true orientation at any time. Just point to the sky or "aim for the stars!" This application acts as a virtual telescope, allowing you to zoom in on any object that is visible to the human eye.

6th - Higher Ed Science 77 Views 24 Downloads
App Overview


  • Full 180° degree view of the sky from your location if navigation enabled
  • Center a celestial object to reveal a closer image or detailed information, including brightness, angle, and distance from Earth
  • Red light night mode option
  • Accurate tilt-to-view capability
  • Link to user's guide online or download a printer-friendly version

Using GoSkyWatch to View the Sky:

  • Set your location by pressing the Settings button in the upper right corner, and then the Earth button that appears
  • Touch the Tool button to make selections in an array of Preferences
  • Point your mobile device toward an area of interest in the sky
  • When you point at an object, its image appears, along with general information. Touch the image for even more details and a link to Wikipedia
  • Adjust star brightness on the screen according to your visibility conditions

Using GoSkyWatch to Learn about Celestial Objects:

  • Tap the Search button in the upper left corner to open five options: Solar System, Constellation, Deep Sky, Star, or Star Light
  • In Solar System, select a planet to learn about
  • The Moon selection displays a moon phases calendar
  • The Sun selection provides today's sunrise and sunset times
  • Deep Sky and Star objects are sortable by name, distance, or magnitude
  • For every object explored, an arrow appears in the sky to show where to find it
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Curator Rating
  • Adherence to task

    Extensive educational content

  • Worth the money

    This free app is highly valuable and worth paying for if it was necessary

  • Fun factor

    Makes users feel like astronomers

  • Scaffolding of learning

    Not necessary as the navigation is intuitive

  • User safety
  • Control and feedback

    Select daytime or nighttime modes

  • How techie do I need to be?
Instructional Ideas

Assign aspiring astronomers to take their tablets out at night to identify what they see. Have them journal what they observe so that they can later do further research on individual celestial bodies.

In the daytime, the application can be used to explore the night sky simply by turning off the Motion Control in Preferences. The sky can then be rotated manually. Assign individual objects to each class member, have them locate and gather information about it. Provide a data collection worksheet for learners to record the information on. Or, have them draw the mythical objects represented by different constellations.

Classroom Considerations

The best use of GoSkyWatch Planetarium is to take it outdoors on a clear night for free exploration. This tool is versatile and easy to interact with, yet it contains comprehensive coverage of the visible objects in the sky.

  • Outstanding value for a free app
  • Engaging and easy to use
  • Extensive information contained about each celestial object
  • None