* Improved zooming support
* More accurate Solar System examples
Ratings and Reviews
Good Balance of Accuracy & Ease of Use
Excellent Grade 11-12 Educational Application
I have been using this software in my high school physics classes for about three years. It is a good blend of game-like set-up and use, while still allowing students to input, modify, and capture basic numerical features of their system. There are website apps that are much simpler (without much flexibility or realism) and significantly more sophisticated and realistic software, which is too difficult for typical students master sufficiently in a few days. This program is the basis of a day-long introduction lab and students are able to quickly understand how it works while also doing some simple modelling experiments. It is also the main platform that they use for a two week project in which they research and model aspects of our solar system or exoplanetary systems.
A few observations:
-Systems can be quickly assembled by dragging objects, stretching initial velocity vectors and manually inputting masses.
-Fine tuning of masses, positions , horizontal and vertical velocities is done through a quick double-click of the body.
-Masses are input as solar masses (SM) which is convenient for set-up, but these must be converted to kilograms for lab “calculations.”
-Distances are in astronomical units (AU) which are also easy to work with, but usually need to be converted from research values.
-Displayed systems are easy to view, and a flexible range of scaling options are available.
-Very large systems (like Haley’s comet) can be somewhat slow to run.
-This modeling software obviously has limitations, but that, in itself, is part of the students’ lesson.
Finally, the author was VERY RESPONSIVE to some questions and minor issues that I encounterd when installing on some older computers.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.