Once in a while you come across a new tablet app that really blows you away because it is just stunning in both look and feel—especially when it’s making full use of the high resolution screen on your (Honeycomb) tablet. Solar System Explorer is a great example of this.
Our Complete Solar System
In Solar System Explorer you can navigate beautifully through our entire solar system. Using multi-touch, you can smoothly zoom in and out, touch a planet to ‘fly’ to it and see it up close. When you touch the Sun, or zoom out far enough, you can see all the planets in their respective orbits. To keep the system entirely visible, the distances are condensed though. In reality the outer planets outside of the Asteroid Belt are much further away but this is a compromise made to keep everything visible. The orbits are still accurate in their shape around the sun.
Whenever you select an object, whether it’s the Sun, a planet, a moon, or one of the man-made probes sent into space, with the touch of a button you can get a lot of very interesting information about that object.
While reading the information you can still interact with the chosen object, such as looking at it from different angles to check out some highlights mentioned in the information text.
Choosing the third button (a circle with three divisions) lets you get to see a slice-through view of the chosen object and some general information of its geological structure.
On a motionless screenshots it is impossible to show the beautiful smooth animations of the moving planets or the moons orbiting around the planets. It is something you’ll have to witness for yourself to really appreciate. Just watching the endless motion of the moons circling around their planet while the planet itself is turning slowly as it orbits around the sun is just mesmerizing. These animations are at a faster speed than in reality to give you a good idea of the orbits and motions. If they were at realistic speeds, it would be too slow to follow.
As mentioned earlier there are also the man-made probes to be found in the app. The probes included are: Voyager 1 and 2, Dawn, Juno, Cassini, New Horizons and Pioneer 10/11. It is quite interesting to read about man-made devices that have travelled so far from Earth!
Solar System Explorer is a beautiful app that shows our whole solar system in exquisite detail and gorgeous animations. It looks spectacular on a tablet and it is perfect to use as demonstration material when showing off your tablet. I could also see this app being excellent for children to use in a school-presentation about our solar system. If you are fascinated by our solar system and own an Android tablet this app is truly a must have!