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Jul 24 2014 - 08:00 PM
Universe Sandbox
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Universe Sandbox is a downloadable space simulator for Windows computers. The program not only allows you to explore the solar system and eight planets, but it also gives you the ability to control and play with gravity. Users can add stars, planets, and more to the solar system simulator and watch how gravity and orbits shift with each new addition. The simulator offers a ton of cool features that will keep its users glued to the screen for hours. Space explorers can pause, fast forward, and rewind time to watch how galaxies and orbit paths change and evolve. Users can click on any planet, star, or galaxy to learn more and change the color, scale, and point of view for better viewing.

Pros:

Universe Sandbox is a fascinating program for space explorers of all ages. Fast forward through space and time to watch how the space landscape changes or add a planet or moon to a solar system and see what happens when the delicate gravitational balance is disrupted. Users can change viewing modes to see the difference in mass, velocity, and distance among planets and stars. Additionally, explorers can travel around the galaxy by moving the mouse and then focus in on a specific planetary system or star with just a click. Highlight orbit paths, view time-lapse planetary progressions, and discover new parts of the galaxy you didn’t know existed. Universe Sandbox brings the unknown depths of space right to your computer and gives users the opportunity to truly dive into the unknown.

Cons:

The biggest limitation for this product is that it is only available for Windows computers. The lack of an online version may deter some potential users from exploring this resource. The many options for view mode and criteria selection are intimidating at first and not well labeled. The program also seems slightly stuttered and slow.

Our Takeaway:

Universe Sandbox is a great tool for those looking to explore the depths of space on their own. The program offers a plethora of options for countless hours of space analysis while also giving its users a solid education in astronomy. A major drawback of the program is its limited availability, both in format and supported processors. Taking this platform online would greatly increase its viability and likely widen its audience.

The Bottom Line:

The Universe is your sandbox—jump in and play.

Image: Logo via Universe Sandbox

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|By: Dana Haugh|1139 Reads