Magazine article Teach

Starry Night Complete Space & Astronomy Pack

Magazine article Teach

Starry Night Complete Space & Astronomy Pack

Article excerpt

Starry Night Complete Space & Astronomy Pack (CSAP) is a versatile, comprehensive and very interactive software program that allows you to navigate around our solar system and beyond as a way of understanding and learning the basics of astronomy.

Once you launch Starry Night CSAP, you can view the constellations from any location on earth by simply selecting the desirable latitude and longitude (i.e. where you live). The sky above, as viewed on the screen, appears exactly as it would at the selected location, date and time specified. In fact, the program has the ability to view the sky from different points in time, both in the past and in the future as well as from different angles (i.e. altitudes from 0 to 90 degrees), directions, and vantage points.

Ever wonder what a sunset looks like from Mars or what it would be like to hitch a ride on a comet? If you want to find a specific planet, just type in the name and the program takes you across the night skies and slowly zooms in on the planet you have selected. This gives you a real sense of where the planet is in the night sky. Just by clicking, dragging and zooming in and out you can easily guide yourself around the galaxy.

Of course, there is nothing like viewing the night sky late on a clear evening, far away from the lights of a city. Unfortunately, this situation doesn't present itself readily when teaching Astronomy to students in a classroom during the day. Starry Night CSAP is an ideal program for students to utilize in the absence of genuine star-gazing or as a very useful learning complement as you look at the night skies.

For Astronomy buffs with the misfortune of living in a heavily light-polluted environment, the program has the flexibility of adjusting the level of ambient light pollution to either simulate local conditions or improve the view usually seen (i.e. what you are missing). If a view of the heavens from a location on Earth is too mundane, you can enjoy a view of the constellations from the surface of the moon instead. …

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